Wouldn't you like to have a best buddy by your side at the workbench? Someone to keep your spirits up and give you positive feedback while you work on your electronics? (Ok well maybe not the positive feedback part...)

Here we'll be building a Sparky the Blue Smoke Monster robot friend! He'll be there when you put the chip in backwards, swap power and ground, or forget the decoupling cap. You might be a little crestfallen when you let the blue smoke out of your chips, but at least you have someone by your side.

This project shows you how to build a talking automaton using cardboard, popsicle sticks and some other household materials, paired with Adafruit's CRICKIT for Circuit Playground Express and a micro servo motor.

Project Parts

Household materials you will need

  • Scotch tape
  • Glue stick
  • Double sided foam tape
  • Pieces of cardboard (one 8.5" x 11", one 3"x6")
  • 2 sheets printer paper
  • Popsicle stick
  • Scissors or X-acto knife

Materials from Adafruit

1 x Circuit Playground Express
Circuit Playground Express is the perfect introduction to electronics and programming
1 x Adafruit CRICKIT for Circuit Playground Express
Creative Robotics and Interactive Construction Kit is an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express that lets you #MakeRobotFriend using CircuitPython
1 x Micro Servo
This little servo can rotate approximately 180 degrees (90 in each direction). Works just like standard servos you're used to but smaller.
1 x USB cable - A/MicroB - 3ft
Standard A to micro-B USB cable
1 x Mini Metal Speaker
1" diameter speaker cone with an 8 Ω impedance and 0.5W or less of power draw.
1 x 3 x AA Battery Holder
With On/Off Switch, JST, and Belt Clip
1 x Male DC Power adapter
2.1 mm plug to screw terminal block
1 x Alkaline AA batteries - 3 pack
These batteries are good quality at a good price, and work fantastic with any of the kits or projects that use AAs.

If your Circuit Playground Express and CRICKIT aren't already connected, now is the time to do that.

The animation below demonstrates how the two become one.

This guide was first published on Jun 21, 2018. It was last updated on Sep 13, 2023.

This page (Gather Materials) was last updated on Sep 13, 2023.

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