Arduino Controlled Silly String Shooter





Introduction: Arduino Controlled Silly String Shooter

Arduino Contest

Runner Up in the
Arduino Contest

Halloween Contest

Finalist in the
Halloween Contest

This is a fun device that's very simple to make.

I put mine in a pumpkin for Halloween. I also added an IR  motion sensor, sound, and Twitter.
You can follow the victim count on Twitter by following: hackolantern

Step 1: Materials Checklist

Items needed:

- Arduino microcontroller
- A couple cans of Silly String (it's no fun with just one can!)
- Wire coathanger
- Standard sized servo (I used a 39g servo)
- Zip ties
- Basic tools (I'm not going to list everything. You're smart, surely you'll figure it out.)

Step 2: Mark, Measure, and Cut

Take the cap off the Silly String. Measure and mark the cutout locations.

You might be able to use my measurements in the images below, but your brand of Silly String may have different dimensions. Good luck.

Step 3: Bendy / Twisty

Bend your coathanger to resemble the image below. This will act as the trigger.

Step 4: Mount Servo

Run the zip tie through the top holes, and attach the servo.

The trigger should be adjusted to fit YOUR can of Silly String. With my setup, the internal bend is horizontal when the outside lever rests all the way against the servo. This allows for the servo to make a full 90 degree rotation without applying any stress to the other components.

Step 5: Example Code

This code is pretty stupid, but it will give you an idea of how to start.

** I used the SoftwareServo.h library only because the standard servo.h library and the VirtualWire.h library don't get along. If you want to use the standard servo library, it works just fine, but you'll have to whip up your own code (it shouldn't be too hard).

Download the sketch anyway, and take a look.

The other sketches on here, SillStringShooter2.pde and Hackolantern_Tweet.pde, is the actual code I used for my pumpkin. Enjoy!



    • Pocket-Sized Contest

      Pocket-Sized Contest
    • Pro Tips Challenge

      Pro Tips Challenge
    • Paper Contest 2018

      Paper Contest 2018

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    Please be positive and constructive.




    Quite tricky to get the wire to press the spray button in the center. My spray won't shoot a string if you hit it off center, the stuff will just flow out but not shoot.
    So the wire must be mounted slightly off the cap's diagonal to get it to press the button's center. Alternatively it should also work if it is on the diagonal but high enough above the button so that by the time the V-part rotates onto the spray button it's centered on the button.

    This setup should also alleviate the problem of the cap coming off that a previous commenter mentioned.

    dude u need to give credit where credit is due!

    Wow, I hope he got a good grade! I also hope you're referring to the individual who wrote that report and not me. Look at the dates. I did this project in 2009 and he did his in 2011. That's a bummer he didn't add this instructable as a reference :(

    Looks like they borrowed heavily from your instructable there.

    You're right! Foot in mouth syndrome! My sincerest apologies. Excellent instructable!

    Can u provide an explanation of the pinouts to the arduino? (which pins r used for what)?

    Great project. I'm a noob at arduino and when trying to load the sketch (shooter2 as I don't want to tweet, etc), I get all sorts of compilation errors and others errors such as 'digitalWrite was not declared, etc? I have the software servo and virtual wire libraries installed. Sorry to bother but can't figure out problem?

    Great instructable! for those interested, tried the ssscat to shoot silly string, clogged on the first shot. gonna see if I can mod the solenoid valve and nozzle in it to get it to work - I'll post an instructable if so.

    Can I use a Parallax Ping Sensor instead of an IR sensor?

    I really want to do this but I'm a total noob and having trouble figuring out how to connect the ir sensor and the servo to the arduino, Help please.