Chatter Teeth

Introduction: Chatter Teeth

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

The goal of my project is to create a voice/noise sensitive set of teeth using an Arduino. I was required to include at least one 3D printed moving part in my project which ended up being a custom built servo arm. Feel free to use my circuit design to create anything you'd like.

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Step 1: Materials


All of the hardware can be purchased here, but the required components are listed below

  • Arduino Uno Chip
  • Breadboard
  • Jumper cables(bundle of 4 and some single wires)
  • Microphone "Sound Sensor Module"
  • Servo Motor
  • Something to mount the servo to the appropriate height (I used a PVC end cap bought at the local hardware store)
  • A pin to connect the teeth to the servo arm (I used piano wire)
  • A 1 inch metal hinge (If you choose to detach your teeth from the original hinge mechanism.
  • "Chatter Teeth" These can also be modeled on Inventor software provided below as well


Go to and select course materials>software and then download Inventor and all of the other helpful and free software (if you're a student).


  • Drill
  • Hot glue gun
  • Wire cutters
  • Screwdriver
  • Sandpaper

Step 2: 3D Modeling and Animating With Inventor

  • After you download Autodesk Inventor 2015, familiarize yourself with the software by following the tutorials found here under "Videos".
  • Then create an animation as you would please.
  • If you are trying to animate a servo to something you are welcome to use my Inventor .iam file that I have attached. (These are very crude and early stage models because I ended up having to purchase the teeth)
  • I have also attached an inventor file for a longer servo arm to give the teeth a wider bite this .stp file is 3D print ready.

Step 3: The Breadboard Circuit

I have attached the image of a "Fritzing" diagram of my circuit which explains the basic layout. This software can be found in the materials list and does not contain all of the parts in the kit (including the correct microphone) but my schematic will explain the correct connections.

The Microphone should be connected to:

  • Analog pin A0
  • 5 Volt power
  • Ground

The Servo should be connected to:

  • Digital pin 3 or any Digital pin equipped with PWM denoted by a "~"
  • 5 Volt power
  • Ground

I highly recommend using the two rails on the breadboard as a 5V and a Ground, this helps everything organization wise.

Step 4: Coding the Arduino

If you are unfamiliar with coding the Arduino, please check out the many tutorials on the make course website linked in the materials list.You will need the Arduino software available through the Make Course website that I've been referencing. Another handy link to have is the Arduino code bank, a huge reference library Found Here, that will help you if you've lost your way.

However, you do not need any coding background to complete this project unless you intend to modify my code which is easy to do and is explained thoroughly in the comments. I have attached a screenshot of the code as well as the Arduino sketch itself so all you have to do is plug and play.

Check the serial monitor while the Arduino and components are hooked up and set the threshold according to the values being received. Remember the default is based on the values in the room I was recording in and may need to be raised. (This is explained in the comments section of the code)

You can also adjust the angle to which the mouth opens and how quickly it resets.

Step 5: Assembly

The second image is from after I glued the 1 inch hinge to the back of the the teeth. This hinge is a crucial part and is best installed first! The teeth must be removed from their original hinges and insides sanded out.

*Note: It is very important that the bottom layer of teeth and the servo are both securely mounted before running the sketch. Not doing so could cause your servo or your glued connections to break.

Modifications to the black Arduino box:

  • Two holes drilled and reamed out until large enough to accommodate the USB cable and the servo wires on both of the short sides of the box. (3 & 4)
  • An additional hole was drilled in center-edge of he lid in order to mount the microphone. (1)


I used hot glue to mount everything so I reuse parts and wires in future projects.

  • Number 1 shows the microphone glued into place
  • Number 2 shows my painted pvc end cap I used to mount my servo. Feel free to 3D model one, I just picked one up from a hardware store for only a few cents
  • Number 5 shows the piano wire connecting the servo arm and the teeth. This is tricky with hot glue, I would recommend using another form of mounting such as an arm that screws in

Step 6: Startup and Troubleshooting

Once all of your wires are in place and your components mounted, it is finally time to start using your chatter teeth!

Just a few tips:

  • When you first upload the script, check the serial monitor for the ambient noise values and adjust the threshold accordingly (otherwise it may go off constantly or not at all)
  • You can adjust the angle in which the servo rotates very easily within the code

I hope you have enjoyed my project! It was a blast to make and it works great!

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    2 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Very clever! Nicely done!