Introduction: Jacques Pierre - the Internet Controlled Hacking Pumpkin

About: Hi, we’re Dane & Nicole, two makers that create stuff, which we happily share with you!

Lets celebrate Halloween with an internet controlled hacking pumpkin called Jacques Pierre!

Below a overview of the content:

  • Project video
  • Pumpkin carving lights + moustache
  • Servos with knives
  • LetsRobot
  • Salt Dough
  • Let the hacking begin!


  • Pumpkin
  • Moustache
  • IKEA light string
  • Two long knives
  • Two servos with braces
  • Toothpicks
  • Adafruit Servo Driver
  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • Pi Camera
  • Salt dough (salt, flour, water and food colouring)
  • Googly eyes
  • Knives
  • Glue gun
  • Bowl

Step 1: Project Video

Step 2: Pumpkin Carving

The first step of creating a pumpkin hacking pumpkin is carving a pumpkin.

To do this, we followed this guide by BBC Good Food.

We gave our pumpkin a pair of beautiful eyes and a mouth filled with sharp teeth. To complete his look, we gave him a French moustache and a matching French name: Jacques Pierre.

To accentuate his scary looks, we added a string of lights on the inside.

We also added holes for the two servos and a small hole at the back where the wiring comes out.

We opted to get the most out of our pumpkin, so we saved the flesh we cut out of the pumpkin and used it to bake a lovely pumpkin pie, by following this recipe.

We also saved the pumpkin seeds and dried them using the advice we found here.
Who knows, maybe we can grow our own pumpkin for Halloween next year?

Step 3: Servos With Knives

To hack stuff, the pumpkin needs two arms that can move. We went thrift-shopping and found two long knives with wooden handles. We drilled two small holes in each of the handles and screwed them onto servo hubs, to attach the knives to the servos.

We placed the servos in servo braces to make attachment to the pumpkin easier. As mentioned above, we cut two holes on the sides of the pumpkin and used toothpicks and hot glue to hold them in place.

Aside from the servos and the lights, we placed all the other electronics outside the pumpkin to avoid stuff breaking when the pumpkin inevitably starts rotting. The wires of the servos come out of the small hole in the back of the pumpkin and go to the Adafruit Servo Driver which is controlled by a Raspberry Pi 3.

We followed this Adafruit tutorial to set up and test the servos.

Step 4:

To make Jacques Pierre internet controlled, we gave him a Pi Camera and added him to by following the tutorial outlined here.

We made some adjustments to the code to make the servos move as intended. You can find the adjusted code added here.

Step 5: Salt Dough

The hacking pumpkin still needs something to hack into with its hacking knives.

We made salt dough by mixing the following in a bowl:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

We split the dough in parts and added different kinds of food colouring to each batch. Using these coloured doughs, toothpicks and googly eyes, we made a number of evil monsters for Jacques Pierre to hack into.

Tip: store the salt dough in a wet towel to stop it drying out overnight.

Step 6: Let the Hacking Begin!

The hacking pumpkin is ready to start hacking things into pieces!


Be careful and have a happy Halloween!

Halloween Contest 2019

Participated in the
Halloween Contest 2019