Since last week we purchased a pre-made ‘useless box’ online so that we could take it apart and look into how it works.
This pre-made box was constructed from the following components
- DC motor
- 2 x AA batteries
- SPDT switch
- Gear arrangement (for increased torque)
- Rocker switch
- Plastic arm
When the switch on top of the box was flicked on, this caused the motor to rotate the arm until it turned off the switch, causing it to then rotate the opposite way until the rocker switch was pressed down, cutting off the power.
After dismantling the mechanism to separate parts, we figured that the rocker switch was controlling the motor, so this can be removed for our project and replaced by our Arduino.
In the next week we are going to connect up the arm, battery and motor to our Arduino so we can create the same action using a motor shield, ULN, push button and code.
We have found a step by step guide online who uses a stepper motor to make a useless box. This will be useful but we will be doing it a different way.