Introduction: Doramas

Kiss My Cobra and Smack That Pad are the first two of an ongoing series of interactive dioramas that I call Doramas. These may seem simple at first, but the more closely you look the more complex they become. The servos, sensors, and code instruction provided here can be used in a variety of settings (for your diorama) but the first two I've chosen are carnival-themed with a slight freak show aesthetic. All cheeky titles and creative elements are optional/customizable.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials! There Are a Lot.

Electronic Components:

  1. Arduino Uno x2
  2. Jumper Wires
  3. Resistors (220)
  4. Force sensitive resistor
  5. Assorted LEDs
  6. IR Proximity Sensor
  7. BreadBoards or PerfBoards x2
  8. Coated Wire
  9. Pan and Tilt Servo
  10. Arduino Battery Source
  11. 9 volt battery x2
  12. Arduino software (Free)

Creative Additive Components (optional/replaceable):

  1. Cylindrical Foam Base x2
  2. Foam block
  3. Smooth Finish
  4. Acrylic Paint
  5. Crocheted Yarn
  6. Super Glue
  7. Cardboard
  8. Modeling Clay
  9. Moss

Step 2: Prepare Materials

Keeping yourself organized during this process will become important as the circuitry becomes more complex. You can do this by keeping your materials for each Idorama separated and have those areas sectioned between electronic components and crafting materials.

If you choose to use the styrofoam base, you will need to hollow the middle out in order to fit the electrical components. Only go through the base for the battery placement, and make sure the hole is slightly larger than the battery to allow for cooling. Don't forget to cut some holes for the proximities sensor! After making the appropriate modifications to the bases, it's best to cover the styrofoam with Smooth Finish. This will make the styrofoam so much easier to paint and to work with.

After cutting out any creative elements you wish to add, such as a title, I suggest mounting paper decorations to cardboard and sealing with super glue. This will give them an overall cleaner look.

Now, on to the circuitry!

Step 3: Wiring and Coding!

As complicated and messy as this set-up may seem, it allows these Doramas to be modular and readily interchangeable.

Step 4: Get Creative!

This is where you can let creativity take over! I chose to 3D print my cobra, as I needed a specific size for my plexiglass cylinder. Use whatever materials you wish or have available! Have fun with this step!

Step 5: Construction

Now it's time to put it all together and display!