Power the Automaton

Indirect Drive Wheel

We'll couple the high-RPM DC motor and orange wheel to the cam shaft indirectly by resting the assembly on the large cardboard cam shaft wheel. To allow for irregularities in the surface, we'll have a single pivot, made from a toothpick, that holds the motor in place while still allowing it to pivot in compliance.

  • Place the toothpick into the motor's mounting hole as shown
  • Mark the position on the box that will allow it to rest on the large wheel
  • Cut a small hole
  • Push in the toothpick
  • Slide the motor into place

That's all there is to it -- gravity will do the rest of the work!

Mount the Crickit

To counterbalance the weight of the motor and wheels, we'll mount the Crickit, Circuit Playground Express, and batteries on the opposite side.

  • Hold the Crickit in place and mark holes to mount it to the box's side
  • Use pipe cleaners or string to secure it in place
  • Mark and affix the battery box underneath the Crickit

Plug the motor's wires into the Crickit's Motor 1 port as we did during programming.

Add Character

You can now choose what to move with your cam follower mechanism! A simple approach is to draw or print a character to affix to the rod.

Or, you can get a bit fancier and create a jointed character so that just and arm moves, or perhaps the stance of a cat made from pipe cleaners and googly eyes!

This guide was first published on Jun 04, 2018. It was last updated on Jun 04, 2018. This page (Power the Automaton) was last updated on Nov 16, 2019.