Picture of Animatronic Talking Takeout Container

The animatronic talking takeout container is a fun little toy that is good for hours of amusement. This idea came about after having taken a special effects film class when I was in college. While in the class, I made a short film of myself talking to a takout container with a face drawn on it. However, not having the know-how to do anything with electronics, the initial version was being controlled by a friend pulling upon and releasing a thin fishing line. While I do not doubt that my friend was skilled at controlling the lid in this manner, I couldn't help but thinking that it would be great if I could automate the whole thing -- at the very least -- less embarassing. Even though more than a decade has passed and I no longer have much desire to be an experimental filmmaker, this idea has lingered with me. I always tell people that if given enough time, I will finish any project I start. Thus, I have finally made this long-time dream of having conversations with an autonomous takeout container a reality.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Picture of Go Get Stuff
You will need:

(x1) Arduino Mega (Radioshack #276-127)
(x1) Seeed Studio Music Shield v1.0
(x1) 2GB (or less) micro SD card
(x1) PC Board (Radioshack #276-150)
(x1) LM741 op amp (Radioshack #276-007)
(x1) LM386 amplifier (Radioshack #276-1731)
(x1) 470K resistor (Radioshack #271-1133)
(x2) 100K resistor (Radioshack #271-1131)
(x2) 10K resistor (Radioshack #271-1126)
(x1) 1K resistor (Radioshack #271-1118)
(x1) 220uF capacitor (Radioshack #272-1029)
(x1) 10uF capacitor (Radioshack #272-1025)
(x3) 0.1uF capacitor (Radioshack #272-135)
(x1) 10K trimmer (Radioshack #271-282)
(x1) Speaker (Radioshack #273-092)
(x1) Standard servo (Radioshack #273-766)
(x1) M-type plug (Radioshack #274-1569)
(x1) 8 x AA battery holder (Radioshack #270-387)
(x8) AA batteries (Radioshack #23-1582)
(x1) 6" x 6" x 1/8" clear acrylic square
(x1) Fake food (of your choosing)
(x1) Takeout container
(x2) Googily eyes
(x1) Assorted zip ties
techiebot1 year ago

And I don't see the second capacitor going to the 386 op amp. Also, should pin 6 of the 386 chip have power going to it?

techiebot1 year ago

Hello - From what I can tell of the schematic and the photo of your board, there is a diode connected to ground and the line going to the Arduino analog input. In the parts list, there is a potentiometer listed, but I don't see it in the schematic or on the board. Am I missing something?

Lindie1 year ago

Pretty funny! Nice job. I hope I don't open my fridge one day and get scared! :-)

tinyweasel1 year ago

I love this.

Vampyra651 year ago

Where did you get that fake food ? It really looks real. Did you make it ?

askjerry1 year ago

It's interesting... I did a search for "Fake Food" just to see what's "out there"... they have just about everything... and most of it isn't cheap! Must be big business.



Thats cool, I will like to have one in my fridge!
randofo (author)  marcellahella1 year ago
Oh. I had not considered that it could just live in the fridge. This could be good for dieting. It can yell at someone every time they open the refrigerator. I should patent this and make a fortune!

My first thought was to add a motion sensor (with short delay) and leave this in the fridge at work to freak out co-workers.

Ah ah ah!! That will be funny!
jaybo20991 year ago

Really nice, but how about a video showing the device in operation with out a voice over? You talked over the top of everything, so I'm not sure how well the prop sounds or works.

J-Five1 year ago

I see someone had too much time on their hands, but it's still pretty interesting!

WOOW awesome!
shan_20041 year ago
Thats really cool
OMG love this little guy!! if i ever open a restaurant, they will be seated along the window talking to people on the street =)
thank you for inspiring!