Let's Make Robots!

The Sparkler

Recently a funny robot idea came into my mind - The Sparkler.

What does it do?

The Sparkler is a tank track robot. It drives around and waits till you clap your hands. If you clap your hands, it puts a sparkler out of its container (similar like a quiver for arrows), lights it off, waves during the sparkler burns and throws the spent sparkler then away. Yes, defenitely outdoor enviroment is recommanded. And I rememeber now, Picaxe has the music tone playing option "Happy Birthday". What a birthday surprise!

Main things to do:

• Design a robot arm, which is able to put out sparklers from the container like arrows from the quiver, wave and throw it away.

• Hack a storm-proof piezo ignited lighter (temperature sensor DS18S20 or similar could be used to assure the light off procedure):

 Lighter actuator suggestion:

Because I only want to use one MCU output pin to trigger the lighter, we have to be a little bit tricky:

If the Picaxe output pin 7 is high, pin 2 of the CMOS hex inverter 4049 is low and pin 4 high. The motor starts to turn in one direction till micro switch 1 separates pin 4 of the hex inverter from the h-bridge input 2. Both h-bridge inputs are now on low level - the motor stops. If the Picaxe output pin 7 is low, pin 2 of the hex inverter is high and pin 4 low. The motor starts to turn in the other direction till micro switch 2 separates pin 2 of the hex inverter from the h-bridge input 7. Both h-bridge inputs are again on low level and the motor stops.

Here is my robot hand, which will grip and hold the sparkler. I like to use epoxy plates for my robots - Easy to cut, drill and glue (superglue) and very stable. I plan to use two more servos for the complete robot arm.

Just tried to play some national anthems. Many applications thinkable...Birthday, wedding, soccer world cup. I think I call the robot Celebrating Bot --- CB :D

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Hey, I thought you where busy sending rockets to the moon?

What's this now?


Duh frits, it's for the launch party!
Absolutely right :D
The clap is not a problem. Maybe you remember "The clapper", a sound activated ON/OFF switch. It only triggers, if two claps are detected in a definded time interval. Also low-pass filter will be used.
Sounds like a very interesting and cool idea. The only thing I think you may encounter trouble with is the clap part (making sure sounds other than a clap don't trigger the sparkler). I have been trying to figure out how to hack a piezo igniter thing from a BBQ lighter for a while with no luck. If you complete this could you make a walkthrough or tell how you did it?