Introduction: Animatronic Bird Creature

About: I am a hobbyist who designs and builds robots and animatronics.


Today I am going to show you how to bring a simple skeleton bird that I found at the dollar store to life. With this knowledge you will be able to customize it and turn into an alien bird creature.

First you are going to need the skeleton bird. This item can be found at a Dollarama around Halloween.


Skeleton Bird/Parrot form Dollarama (these can only be found around Halloween)

1 or 2 Micro Servos


Feathers (optional)

Arduino or Pololu Maestro

5-6V Power supply

Hot Glue

A Small Paper Clip

Step 1: Creating the Movable Head

First, take the head off and cut the neck off so it's flush with the rib cage. Now pull apart the rib cage and hot glue the servo inside the rib cage as shown in the picture above.

Now, cut the servo horn so it doesn't stick out and glue it centered to the bottom of the skull. Refer to the picture above.

Then, Set your servo to 90 degrees and place the head on the servo.


If you don't want to take the head off or it keeps falling off as it moves, you will ave to take the servo horn, screw it to the servo, cut the servo horn so it doesn't stick out, then glue the servo horn to the skull.

Step 2: Creating the Movable Mouth

Take another servo and glue it to the top of the head as shown in the pictures above. Set your servo to either 0 or 180 degrees (the max angle will depend on which side your servo is on).

Drill a small hole through both ends of the mouth so the paper clip can go through. (Refer to the pictures above)

Take a paper clip and put it through the jaw, bend it so it won't come out, then put the other side of the paper clip through the servo horn and slightly bend it so it won't slide out. This may take a few tries to get it right.

Step 3: Customizing It

Congratulations, you have now brought you skeleton bird to life!

If you notice in my pictures above you'll see 3 different birds. My skeleton bird only has one servo which moves the neck. The other 2 "birds" (I call them alien creatures) are feathered. They are feathered because they have the servo onto of their head which moves the mouth. I wanted to cover the servo so it would look good, therefore I feathered it.

I added 20mm half round eyes but I removed the pupil from the white part of the eye because it looked a lot better.

I used Pololu's Maestro control board to come up with some test routines, but in the near future I will be using an Arduino to control them.

Make it Move Contest 2020

Participated in the
Make it Move Contest 2020