-Danielle Lidikay

There has been a lot of negativity in the world in the past year, and its so easy to get caught up in it. lets just have fun.

My friend for many many years lives out in Missouri, and his work schedule has not allowed him to get out much, so, i decided to baffle and confuse him with a robotic fish that would start flapping its tail when removed from the box. Then because it was not quite creepy and confusing enough, a bright red LED eye.

This project features a single servo, 1x1 aluminum rail, an Arduino Nano, and a whole mess of zipties.

I just used the standard servo demonstration included with the Arduino software to waggle the servo back and forth, it is incredibly simple, and i can already hear the calls that i could have done this with a couple 555 Timers. i certainly could have, but this was dead simple to get functioning, and now he has a nice little logic board to play with, so win-win.

And the ” making it waggle once out of the box trick?” pretty kludgy as well. With how mail delivery is these days, i couldn’t be certain if it would be delivered in 2-3 days, or end up in a distro center for a month. so any amount of sleep commands, photocells, or other cleverness was a no go. This didn’t just need to be low-power, it needed to be no-power.

so, a SPDT reed switch originally intended for security systems is just the ticket. with a magnet butted up against my carefully packaged fish, it would stay off until removed. as soon as power is restored, the Arduino starts up and runs its code. perfect.

Getting it all packaged into the fish was a tricky affair, and i was cautious to insulate, heatshrink, and electrical tape all of its components. then just staple ‘er up with a whole mess of zipties. no need for prettiness here, its a practical joke.

It made it to its intended target, and i can assure you, i received many baffled text messages before i called him on the phone to revel in my amusement ( and his confusion)