How to build a whole room crane game.  Based on the arcade style 'Crane Game' or 'Claw Machine'.  This is a continuation of a previus instructable titled CRANE GAME in which we built a 2-axis crane game in a door frame.  We have now added a third axis and wireless control.  And made it big.

October 2013
real arcade machine claw 

*** September 2013  **
I have a project running on tindie.com   for a real claw machine kit.

A few technical and functional improvements:
  • Less wires - controllers and batteries move with the motors and are signaled with IR light.
  • Precision not needed - I was able to set-up a 8x10ft track without measuring anything
  • Reproducible - used standard parts, used the same components in many spots
  • Expandable - use longer tracks to make it bigger - track cost is about 50cents a foot.
  • Removable - hangs from the ceiling by 4 small hooks
  • Future?  Could be used as basis for a big 3D printer


  1. Materials
  2. Frame
  3. X-Axis Mechanical
  4. Y-Axis Mechanical
  5. Z-Axis Mechanical
  6. X-Axis Electronics
  7. Y-Axis Electronics
  8. Z-Axis Electronics
  9. IR Control Overview
  10. IR Receive Circuit
  11. IR Transmitter (TV remote)
  12. IR Decode Process
  13. X-Axis Control Code
  14. Y/Z - Axis Control Code
  15. What's next?
  16. Complete Wiring
  17. Complete Code
note: this still has some holes in it, feel free to ask for stuff

Step 1: Materials

6 -  8' J channel
7 - Big continous servo motors  -- HobbyPartz  --- EXI-Servo-B1226
1 - Roll of electrical tape
2 - Arduino UNO boards
3 - Small peices of perferatored board
2 - IR de-modulator
1 - Universal TV remote control
1 - 25' coiled phone chord
1 - 15' straight phone chord
1 - Roll packing tape
1 - Pre-made claw with servo  -- Spark Fun ROB-10332
2 - 4 AA battery packs, rechargeable -- eneloop AA,  
6 - screw hooks
3 - Peice plywood - 2x6" each
1 - roll metal plumbers strap

- Drill
- Computer
- Soldering iron
how many continous servos did you use? <br>And what is the IR de-modulator? could you <br>send a picture of it separatly? <br> <br> thanks!
Ok I gotta say that is absolutely brilliant. I was fascinated by them things as a kid lol
Awesome. Big man-points score right there. <br>I haven't got my head around arduinos yet, but, I'm thinking about using worm driven wheels controlled by multi channel proportional radio -so does not matter. <br>Again, fantastic stuff. Did you ever try this set up with a more powerful claw servo by the way, how does it wok out?
late replay -- I haven't gotten around to adding a larger claw to the big crane game. I am expecting a giant motorized cardboard crane robot kit from kickstarter, if the claw is good I will try that.
I have my claw now and a heavy duty servo which I will need to fab up some brackets to fit it all together. It will fit -eventually :)
Awesome! Build a crane machine! <br> <br>I used the servo motors because I already had them. I disabled the position feedback, so they are just small DC motors with gearboxes and control boards, in a plastic case. My thought was &quot;What can I do with all these servo motors? Maybe I can just tape them together....&quot; <br> <br>All the Arduino stuff and IR is not really needed either. You could do this with no micros, just physical switches and wires. <br> <br>I still have the thing up on the ceiling, but I made it hard to replace the batteries, and did not include an off switch, so they die over a few days even if not used.
i had this idea since long ! m really happy to see someone else do it . i can actually see how it looks like . now i got inspiration to actually get down to make one finally. <br> <br>but one question . i had normal dc motors in mind which i was going to use . i notice u used servo motors . but why is that ? what was the necessity to use servo motors <br>? can't accomplish the same objective by normal dc motors?
Amazing! :D
This looks amazing. Got any video?
crane game video is up
Thanks! -- video should be up tonight.
I've been thinking that a ceiling mounted track like this could make a great foundation for a robot meant to clean a room or fold clothes.
Very cool!
fixitmankeith<br><br>I don't see the code or the wiring
very nice i saw the teddy bear pacl thing on amzon 20 dollars for5o of them
ToDo: add something so this qualifies for miss pacman contenst....
awesome build I always wanted to build one of these but I have no kids.... <br>
Maybe the next version will be able to grab beer bottles....
Will build this for my younger brother and marc thank you for a great pdf.
Great! Check back for updates. I'm trying to make the electronics easeir to build.

About This Instructable


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Bio: Married to Domestic_Engineer (but I call her Meghan).
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