Last year I remember being mesmerized by enormous mechanical wings, but this year my fascination is animatronic tails. I found this delightful version on Hackster.io created by the team at Circuito.io. Before you start to worry that you may never have a tail this grand, just relax—they’ve created a tutorial on the project. It turns out the team created this piece for a live stage performance (although they don’t indicate the lucky performer). Here’s what makes their tail so special:
We placed three servos on the tail, which allow it to move in a close-to-natural way: once one servo pulls the other releases tension and vice versa. The top servo allows the up and down movement. We also added an option to toggle between the MPU and a joystick through the joystick’s push-button, so you can also manually control the tail’s movement.
The tail is controlled with an Arduino Uno and has a MPU 6050 triple axis accelerometer and gyro combo. So, it is highly reactive to movement, adding to its realistic response.
The project gives the 3D print files and code detail, but you’ll need to check out Circuito in order to get the parts and sample code break-outs. The beauty of this build is that you can easily add your own mods like LEDs, Bluetooth or other gadgets. I’m looking forward to seeing how someone integrates this tail into a costume. If you like the idea of a tail, but are searching for a mini version, you can always check out our Really Simple Tail, perfect for everyday use. You’ll just need to figure out the pattern of your fur. Make sure you send us a picture of your furry creation!
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