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Groovin’ Grover: A Microcontroller-based Marionette

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Groovin’ Grover: A Microcontroller-based Marionette.

Groovin’ Grover is a marionette manipulated by four hobby servos and a Pololu Maestro microcontroller-based servo controller. You can control each of Grover’s limbs independently and make him walk, wave, and most entertaining – make him dance. Groovin’ Grover is easy to assemble and wire up. The Maestro Servo microcontroller is easy to program using free software from Pololu.

With a simple program I was able to make Groovin’ Grover dance to a popular dance tune from the 1980’s and one from 2005. As you can see in the videos below, Grover has been programmed to dance to the music and at times his moves seem uncanny.

The first video shows a close-up of Groovin’ Grover dancing to “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats. The second video shows Groovin’ Grover, his stage, and the servos that control his movements. He’s dancing to “Feels Good Inc.” by Gorillaz. If you listen carefully, you can hear the servos and if look carefully, you can see the transparent nylon threads that connect the servos to his limbs.


Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

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