Construction

Art

Decide on what type of animal or artwork you wish to animate. Two choices are below but you are free to choose nearly anything that can be animated with waving.

Be sure that when the chosen image is printed out, it is a good size, eight to ten inches (20-25 cm) tall.

Lucky Cat Art

Click the button below to download the lucky cat art shown in the overview page. You'll need to ensure you credit the art to freepik. If you would like to draw your own image or find another picture, no problem. Do pick a cat that the arm, when cut out separately, will look natural when moving (waving / beckoning).

Lucky Pig Art

Click the button below to download the lucky pig art shown in the overview page. You'll need to sign up for free to download. If you would like to draw your own image or find another picture, no problem. Do pick a pig that the arm, when cut out separately, will look natural when moving (waving).

Build

If you need to do any image editing to your picture, do it now. For the pig I flipped it vertical so have the moving hand on the viewer's right like the cat.

 

Get a piece of cardboard at least as big as the drawing. I used a larger white Adafruit shipping box but any cardboard or similar material will do. Trace the outline of the animal and arm on the cardboard.

 

Using scissors or a craft/x-acto knife, carefully cut the cardboard outline of the animal. If the arm is not separate at this point, carefully cut to separate the arm from the rest of the body.

 

With the remaining cardboard, cut an approximately 8.5" (22 cm) by 1.25" (3 cm) strip of cardboard for a stand.

Using glue stick or a thin coat of craft/white glue, place a thin layer of glue on the cardboard pieces.

Attach the paper parts to the cardboard to make a rigid animal and arm. 

Attaching the Stand

 

Take the strip of cardboard cut earlier and tape one end to the bottom of the cat. Using the battery pack as a guide, bend the cardboard so the width of the stand touching a flat surface os the same as the battery pack width.

Bend the cardboard up, making a triangular shape towards the head. Tape the end of the stand strip to the head such that the car overall tilts slightly back but still fairly straight.

Mounting the Servo to the Arm

 

Using a straw, popsicle stick or similar, attach to the servo single arm horn (attachment) with a provided screw. Attach that to the cat awm securely via shallow screws or glue.

 

The servo should be able to move the arm so that the servo body is on the cat, the place where the horn attaches is at the joint and the servo horn arm with straw is on the arm. This makes the servo like a shoulder joint.

 

Test fit the arm with the cat body and adjust if necessary.

Attach the Servo and Larger Parts

 

Align the arm with the servo attached to the cat body such that there is about 1/8" (2 mm) gap between the arm and body such that when the arm waves, it will not rub against the body. Using glue, glue the servo to the cat body, being sure the alignment is good. Let dry.

 

 

That's it. Next we'll choose which method to program the project. You can chose the super easy to use Microsoft MakeCode or the versatile CircuitPython.

This guide was first published on Feb 05, 2019. It was last updated on Feb 05, 2019. This page (Construction) was last updated on Jul 17, 2019.