Flea circuses have been around since the Victorian times when actual human fleas were used to perform circus tricks. The flea would be harnessed with a small, thin piece of gold wire and made to do acts like pull a miniature chariot, type rope walk, sword fighting, and kicking a small ball! Unfortunately for the live flea circus (and fortunately for us!) the human flea is virtually extinct due to our much cleaner ways.
The type of flea circus that I have built is called a "humbug" flea circus and all the acts are performed using hidden, mechanical means.
Initially I wanted to make a flea circus inside a small cigar box or wooden case. In the end I went with a small wooden case as it was a little deeper than a cigar box. Kind of wished I went with a little larger box as i couldn't fit everything I wanted into the small case that I ended up using.
The project itself was a real learning experience, and everything I built was trial and error. I tried to take as many photos as possible but with the electronics it just became too hard to take photos of every step. I have drawn-up some schematics which will help you through this section though. Also I couldn't get the tight-rope to work well. I left all of the steps though in the Instructable as i believe it would have worked if I had used a separate servo for the type rope.
The flea circus can be built over a weekend with most parts being available on eBay or your local electronics shop.
Hope you enjoy – and happy making.