Picture of Simple Animatronics with Servos and Arduino
Servos are surprisingly easy to use. Even more so than simple DC motors and steppers when you have a microcontroller. In this instructable we'll use a 'duino to drive five servos which will control a doll's limbs and neck.

I bought the servos at HobbyPartz for a couple bucks apiece and found the doll at a swap meet for a dollar. The doll says 1967 Mattel on the back and I later learned she is a See 'n Say type doll. The hard plastic body was important for a successful installation.

Step 1: Dismemberment

Picture of Dismemberment

Pop off the arms and use a coping saw to split open one side. Then crack open the other side and remove the guts. Be careful along the way to ensure that everything can be put back together after. I also spent at least 20 minutes trying (and failing) to get the inner workings functional.
astein-14 months ago

the beauty of synchronicity never ceases to amaze me.

i have been planning to do exactly the same thing as a final for my Electronics as an Art Material class, except controlling the servos via twitter.

if you dont mind me asking, what type of servo did u use??

pacello4 months ago

I'm new to electronics, but I attempted to simulate your project with 123D Circuits here. Any idea why the servos move so painfully slow? Also, you can probably tell I've never breadboarded before.

gzip (author)  pacello4 months ago

Hey, that's pretty cool. I've never used 123D though so I'm not sure why the servos move so slow, but at least it's working. :)

seamus_mf2 years ago
tinker2343 years ago
wow thanks time to make a phys-co killer doll
jj.inc3 years ago
I wan't to put one of those in my carry-on next time I fly
graydog19424 years ago

gzip (author)  graydog19424 years ago
I used a mix of servos that I had on hand. The first set are the smallest and cheapest but also perform well.

7g Sub-Micro Servos used in the arms:

T-Pro Mini Servo SG-90 9G Servos used in the legs:

Dynam 9g Servo used in the head:
WVvan4 years ago

"My name is Talking Tina and I'm going to kill you."
rmarino3 WVvan4 years ago
LOL! too funny. And im going to bed..
This instructable represents my very worst nightmare.
JumpStart4 years ago
Very cool! I expect I'll find a way to use this with my middle school students!
Cadimus4 years ago
Now just replace the eyes with two PIR sensors and let it track people, slooowly, with it's head.
Darwinfish4 years ago
Now you just have to hot glue a small knife to one of its hands... and your shrink will officially retire.

MPaulHolmes4 years ago
Be careful when programming that robo-baby. DON'T make her self aware. She looks like she's sort of crazy. Nice work! My son loves robots, and wants us to make one. I had no idea where to start, so this is perfect.
crossfire4 years ago
Very good! But SOOOO CREEPY!!!!!
gzip (author)  crossfire4 years ago
Thanks. Creepiness is a secondary goal so it may get worse. ;)
it may get worse...i thought this was as creepy as it got, please dont tell me your turning this into a carrot top baby that moves.
seabee8904 years ago
I happen to have a 3 channel remote laying around in the garage. .Halloween is ging to ROCK!!! ( I am probably gonna get in trouble. LOL
Kiteman4 years ago
That shot in step 2 is just creepy...

Any plans to add servos to the hips as well?
gzip (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
It's way creepier in person. I had this thing lying on my desk with only a head and arms. It was running the simplest code where the head and limbs just go back and forth. It created this rocking motion that was so freaky I almost decided to stop the project o_O. I'll try to get a shot of that later. Btw, the hips are added in step 3 but I have yet to program them. Maybe I can get it crawling on all fours.
Kiteman gzip4 years ago
... saying momma!
Only that one? Not any of the other shots of a Franken-doll with buckshot-pattern holes in her chest?

This is pretty cool though...ahh, the ideas it gives for Halloween decorations!
martzsam4 years ago
Need to do this with a Chucky Doll. Epic project, kinda creepy...

If you want to listen to the phonograph disk inside, it might be playable on a variable speed record player.