According to Ancient Greek mythology, Artemis and Apollo were immortal twins born ages ago on a rocky island in the Aegean Sea. Artemis, her hunting bow poised and fleet feet padding the forest floor, reigned as Goddess of the Moon. Her twin brother, Apollo, strummed his harp and recited poetry from his throne as God of the Sun.  Using an Arduino UNO microcontroller and a simple photo resistor (sensor), you can recreate this mythological pair as elegant figurines that dance according to their divine preference. Apollo, ever dazzling, dances in the light of day, while Artemis, forever fierce, dances in the shadow of night. 

A half-opaque, half-transparent acrylic rotates at the top to the model, creating a varying input of light for the photo resistor light sensor housed on the back of the eagle. When the transparent acrylic half is above the sensor, the light is detected and the Arduino activates the motor for the Apollo figurine. When the opaque acrylic half is above the sensor, no light is detected and the Arduino activates the motor for the Artemis figurine.

This project utilizes simple gear and cam machinery paired with stepper motors to move two wooden figurines. The actions of the motors are controlled by an Arduino UNO that uses a photo sensor to detect varying light input.

This project began as an assignment to integrate Arduino technology with the tradition of moving automata in the Things That Think course by Ann and Mike Eisenberg at the University of Colorado Boulder. 

Step 1: Setting up the Motor Shield

1 * Adafruit Motor/Stepper/Servo Shield for Arduino kit - v1.0

soldering iron
wire clippers

In order to connect our three motors to the Arduino Uno, we opted to use a motor shield. A motor shield fits on top of the Arduino and, once set up, allows the easy connection of up to three motors, including all resistors and chips necessary. The motor shield we used for this particular project was the Adafruit Motor/Stepper/Servo Shield Kit v1.0 available at http://www.adafruit.com/products/81.

When the motor shield arrived it was unassembled, so we put it together following Adafruit’s online soldering tutorial. (http://www.ladyada.net/make/mshield/make.html) The tutorial is very straightforward to follow, although some parts look different from those in the example pictures, so make sure to take note of that if you use this particular motor shield kit. If it is your first time soldering, be sure to practice with the soldering iron and solder a few times before you begin setting up the motor shield. This kit is completely feasible for a first time solderer (as we had in our group) but it will require some patience.

I love this! great work!
thank you soooooooooo much! :D
Pretty cool project for a maiden Instructable! Cheers!
PS & suggestion: post the video in the introduction of the I'ble. It's very instructive on what you're about to make. And not all people scroll down to step 18...
Thanks for the tip! Updated Step 1 with video.

About This Instructable


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Bio: A group of 3 students from the University of Colorado Boulder who like to make things that think.
More by ttt_jjr: The Adventure of Electricity: An interactive light diorama Artemis & Apollo: Dancing with Arduino and light detection
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