Mechanics and Construction > Mechanics and Construction

Making A Robotic Butterfly

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BCMagic:
I need to make a robotic butterfly (it just needs to sit there, and slowly move its wings every so often). however I know almost nothing about robotics.

Can anyone give advice on how I'd be best to go about it, or good places to learn the robotics needed?

Thanks! :)

Azraels:
For something that small you should probably use tiny electromagnets to actuate the wings. If your trying to go for realistic size you will probably have to run wires off to some sort of base for power supply. If you can go slightly larger than normal, you could go with one of those tiny solar panels  you see in calculators or perhaps a watch battery to charge a capacitor which dumps its voltage after reaching a certain level to actuate the electromagnets. Google beam bots for that.

BCMagic:
Thanks! I had a quick look and Beam Bots seems to be what I was looking for - I'll have to do a lot more research on it.

I was imagining some form of motor, but electro magnets would make things a lot more simple. The butterfly needs to be life sized and self contained, but I might be able to have it sitting on an object, and hide the power supply in there.

waltr:
"Muscle Wire" could also be used to move the wings.

jwatte:
Yes, I was thinking "muscle wire" too. A 555 timer circuit tuned to slow cycle, and some muscle wire, would be enough to build a butterfly that flaps the wings once every 15 seconds or whatever. If you want fancier movement patterns, try an Arduino instead of the timer.

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