What parts do I need?


#1

Hi.

I am trying to create a remote prop for my show. I need to be able to press a remote button, which when pressed will lift a small rabbit shape out of a box, then quickly drop the rabbit shape back into the box.

There will be no lid on the box and all items will be light.

Your advice for parts, or any other ideas are welcome. Regards Dave


#2

There are dozens of ways to accomplish remote control depending on your environment. I think I’m familiar with most of the unreliable ones :D

They fall into four categories (although arguably these are just variations upon RF/Wired):

  • Low-level RF like XBee
  • WiFi/Bluetooth
  • Line-of-sight: infra-red
  • Wired

For the actual mechanism you should need only a power supply- be it a battery or a conveniently placed mains adaptor- a small micro-controller board, a transistor and a motor.

Because you want the rabbit to pop up slowly and drop back immediately, you only need the motor to turn in one direction. Using a snail drop cam:

You can run the motor in test and figure out how long it takes for a slow rise and drop, then program the microcontroller to run the motor for that much time.

Adafruit have a nice little tutorial about using a transistor to drive a motor from an Arduino: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-arduino-lesson-13-dc-motors/transistors

If you’re not so worried about penny pinching (this is the cheapest solution I can think of) then you can use any of the vast number of motor driver boards- picking one that can be used for another project in future might be a good idea.