Introduction: PiCrane


PiCrane is a project where a crane (doesn't need to be self-made), is controlled by a servo motor and a website. You can find all the code for the hardware ( and the website ( on Github.

Be aware that you need a configured Raspberry Pi (with Flask and MySql) for this project.

If needed, you can still find some more information on

I got this logo from

Step 1: Needed Materials

You can make this project with whatever materials you want to. Feel free to pick your own materials and be as creative as possible.

I chose to use:

- 2 wooden planks (18 cm x 190 cm), although one will do if you work precise

- 1 wooden pole (44 cm x 69 cm)

- 1 standard hook

- Some screws (make sure that they are longer than the thickness of the planks)

- Some fine rope

- 2 hinges

Step 2: Sawing

First we need to get all our separate pieces of wood. Use a pencil to draw the outlines, and use a saw to saw the wooden plank in different pieces.

Saw two pieces of wood from the wooden plank (33 cm x 18,5 cm). One is going to be used as the top, and the other one is going to be used as the bottom of the case.

Saw four more pieces of wood from the plank. These are going to be used as the sides. Two planks of 9 cm by 33 cm and two planks of 14,5 cm by 9 cm.

Step 3: Attach the Planks to Each Other

Now that we have six pieces of wood (in three different sizes), we can start attaching them.

Place the plank that you are going to use as your bottom on the ground. Now take the two longest planks (who aren't meant for the bottom or the top) and place them in the length on the bottom. Now do the same with the smaller planks. Place them on top of the bottom and between the two vertically place planks.

Make sure that the planks are alligned perfectly. Now take a drill, and drill the screws into the planks. So that they are attached to each other. Put as much weight on the drill as you can. Because else the drill can leave a gap between the two planks that you want to attach.

Control at the end to see if you attached everything. Don't forget to attach the bottom plank to the planks on top.

Step 4: Attach Hinges

Of course we want to be able to open the box so that we can place our hardware inside of it. We do this by attaching two hinges to the side. These hinges are going to be attached to one of the long, vertical planks, and to the plank that is on top.

Make sure that the hinges are placed the right way, so that you can open your box.

Step 5: Add Holes for the Cables

When our hardware is inside the box, it needs to get power, and it needs to be able to send and retrieve data from the components. To make it look a little bit prettier, we drill the wholes in total in the box. Two on the sides and one on top.

The two holes in the side are used to deliver power to the Raspberry Pi and the breadboard power supply. Else the crane won't work of course.

The hole on top is for the wires that connect our servo motor and our load cell to the Raspberry Pi and the breadboard power supply.

To make the holes a little bit prettier, you can use a file.

Step 6: Attach Pole

Now that we have our box, we need to attach our pole as well. On top of the pole, we will attach our servo motor.

Make sure the pole is attach very good and that you start to drill from the inside of the box. The pole is too thick to start drilling from the outside.

On top of the pole you can use some spare wood and attach two small, wooden blocks. Be aware that your servo motor has to fit between those two blocks. And that the servo motor still needs some room to move.

Step 7: Servo Motor and Load Cell

We are almost done. Place your servo motor on top of the pole and between the two wooden blocks. You will see that the servo motor has a small wing. Place a small strip of wood on top of that. You can attach it with tape for example. The small strip of wood needs to be wide enough so that your load cell fits on it.

You can then attach your load cell to the wooden strip. Make sure that 1/2 of the load cell needs to stick out. It can not rest on the wood completely. Else it won't be able to measure the weight of the object.

To the load cell, you can attach the rope and the hook.

Step 8: Decoration

Feel free to decorate the crane. Be create and let yourself go. Make it as cool and as unique as possible. You can paint it, color it, do whatever you want with it. Feel free to post your cool cranes on social media. Share it with your friends and be proud of what you achieved!