Motorized Yo-yo




This is the result of one of my class projects. We were given the very open-ended task of improving a yo-yo. We were just supposed to come up with the design and analyze it, but I thought it would be way more fun to actually make something.

The center axle is a bearing removed from the read/write arm of an old hard drive. The motor and battery are from a small $20 RC helicopter, the belt is just a small rubber band, and the body is built out of PVC. When the yo-yo is dropped the spinning causes the spring to bend outward and make contact with another piece of metal which closes the circuit and powers the motor. The result is a yo-yo that sleeps for as long as the battery lasts.

Here is a video of the yo-yo in action



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    6 Discussions


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I could if there was enough interest, but I wasn't really planning on it because the specifics of how it was built relies on the parts that were used. Since the motor, battery, and bearing were all ripped from junk items I had laying around they probably aren't readily available in the same type. Also since a lathe is needed to make it then few people would actually be able to use the Instrucable to make their own. If someone out there is trying to build one and needs some help then I'll be happy to help explain parts that they are not sure about in more detail.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    wow did you get a good grade on this? it looks like works realy smooth in the vid p.s. i think it wold be cool if you can put in some kinda of brakeing system in it so it will come back up


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, we got an A on the project, but I don't know if the yo-yo helped or not because building an actual yo-yo wasn't part of the project. It was mainly done for myself to keep the project interesting. The project wasn't terribly exciting and due on the last day of finals with everyone in the group graduating. I think building the yo-yo made the project much more bearable.

    I got lucky on the video that it stayed balanced the whole time. Usually I need to use the card every so often to keep it balanced.

    I have a starburst pattern on one side of the yo-yo. I originally had it on both but I had to remake one side from the first prototype and never got around to remaking the starburst. I think it might return if I remake the starburst on the other side. But having it return introduces another problem; the yo-yo changes direction with every throw and I would need a way to deal with that.
    As it is now I just manually activate the switch and the motor automatically starts to wind the yo-yo to prepare for the next throw.