Introduction: BRKN GLSS // Arduino Reads Proximity Sensor Causing 2 Servo Motors to Activate

This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse-Art at the University of South Florida (

The sculpture is a plane of glass that "breaks" as a viewer approaches the piece. The work is activated by Two servo motors that are triggered, by the proximity sensor, at 50 cm away. I created this piece to reference the changes that occur in our lives, where we feel we may have triggered them and how distance can repair the disturbance of brokeness.

I will be including my Arduino sketch and Fritzing sketch of the breadboard/arduino set-up.

N'JOY + happy building!



-3D print of circle base + lid that has holes for supports, wires and proximity sensor

-circle plane of broken glass (I used the glass from a wall clock)

-arduino -breadboard


-electrical snips

-hot glue

-15 foot white US-electrical + air duct tape

-metal wire

-jump wires

-two servo motors

Step 1: Print 3D Print

Using Maya, create your circular container for the Arduino and servo motors, use a clock as inspiration.

Include holes, using the boolean tool, for your metal wire, power cord and proximity sensor to be inserted through.

Step 2: Assemble Arduino and Servo Motors Inside "circular Base"

Using attached Fritzing diagram; connect servo's and USB extension cable to Arduino. I used the "power strip" of the breadboard and extension jump wires to connect the proximity sensor to the Arduino... but you could also find a way to attach the proximity sensor to the that part is up to you! Play around with the set-up!

I attached all components using hot glue + electrical tape.

Step 3: Program Arduino

Crucial step!! There are multiple ways to program the motors to move, this was what I found to work.

Also, I think it's important to note that the Arduino seemed to only work with two motors attached to its power, for more motors you would need an external power source of some kind.

***Upload program to your Arduino and test out your project before proceeding***

Step 4: Attach Metal Wires + Lid

I used both hot glue and scissors to attach the wires to the servo motors. I also bent the metal to fit through the extra holes for support of the delicate hanging glass. These support structures are attached on the inside of the lid with hot glue and tape as well.

The lid is held to the base with small strips of black electrical tape and a strip of aluminum air duct tape all the way around its edge.

Step 5: Repair Broken Glass Using Tiny Pieces of Tape + Hot Glue

Sounds dangerous... but with careful hands it is a pretty meditative action. Repairing the damage of the break with small pieces of tape and some touches of hot glue here and there. I found that, as I went along, the multiple layers of tape began to have a rhythm and acquired a beauty all their own!

Step 6: Hang on a Wall + Activate!

CONGRATS + thank you for following along with my Instructable!