Spinning Santa Project

Task: To create a rotating and height-adjustable Santa Sleigh
Difficulty: Intermediate 

Thanks to Mike Cargill at UK STEM  for the inspiration!

For this project you will need:

  • A Crumble controller, with micro-USB lead;
  • A computer with the latest Crumble software;
  • A battery pack with batteries (not rechargeable);
  • A gearbox motor with wheel;
  • A servo with Crumbliser;
  • 5 croc-leads.

You will also need scissors, glue, sticky pads, corrugated card and a Santa sleigh to attach to the end.

1 Gather your materials.

2 You will also need to draw out your template.

3 Cut out the cardboard template you drew earlier.

4 Glue the sections together.

5 Flip the cardboard piece over and stick sticky pads in these locations.

6 Attach your servo (with arm) here. Make sure the movement will push the cardboard arm.

7 Now attach the motor on the other sticky pad.

8 Now attach the motor to the wheel.

9 Cut out your template and fold the bottom tab.

10 Stick on the picture to the end of your cardboard arm.

11 Now place a sticky pad near the rear of the cardboard platform.

12 Attach the battery pack to the sticky pad. The nut underneath can hang over the edge.

13 Connect the red motor wire to a + motor pad, and the black one to a – motor pad.

14 Connect the + and – of the battery pack to the corresponding power pads on the Crumble.

15 Now connect the servo. The + and – can connect to the corresponding pads on the battery pack, and s can connect to A on the Crumble.

16 To get our Santa to simply spin, we can set the motor 2 output (or whichever you chose) to forwards.

17 To get a gradual speed increase and a height change, we can use two variables; ‘Servo Angle’ and ‘Motor Speed’. We’ve initially set the servo angle to -80 and the motor speed to 20. After this, we’re going to set the servo and motor to the corresponding variables and then increase each variable by one and wait 100ms. This repeats 60 times to give a gradual servo/motor increase.

18 To finish the program, we’ve added a 5000ms wait to allow Santa to spin at its full speed and height, before repeating the previous block of code and repeatedly decreasing the servo angle and the motor speed by 1. The code then repeats until the battery pack is switched off.

And there you have it! Your spinning Santa decoration, ready for Christmas