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Motion activated scarecrow???

Hi Everyone!
So, I'm already thinking of a new project my students should do for next year.  We have a garden at our school that wild animals love to frequent, so I'm thinking of a motion activated solar powered scarecrow...anyone have any tips for a robotics newbie???  thank you!

patti :)

This needn't be a "Robotics" project at all, all you need is a simple, cam driven automaton and a nice motor to run the cam. A PIR alarm unit detects the movement and triggers the motor.

At one point in my mis-spent youth, I made animated displays for shopping malls at Christmas, and made several very large talking Christmas trees amongst other things. They relied on cam driven mechanisms for the movement - its very easy to make something look good to a toddler....or a bird. ....
If you use the cam/motor approach, a very easy solution for the motion sensor would be to use a motion-activated outdoor floodlight with a screw-in outlet instead of the light bulb. The motor plugs into the outlett, and the floodlight supplies the power when the birds approach. There's even a built-in timer to turn it off when the birds leave. This is very commonly done in home Halloween displays. The only downside is that you need to run it off of AC power, but if AC is an option, it's crazy-simple.
+1
The most effective scarecrow I have seen is an inflatable rip stop nylon figure that is inflated by a PC Fan - it goes up and down at random times.

For motion detection your into microprocessor territory have a look at http://www.picaxe.com

Think about noise

Alarm calls

Flashing lights

Pyrotechnics

Flags

tethered Kites

Humming plastic bands

Aeolian harps

Wind chimes

Wind powered whirly gigs.