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Projects with crickets don't have to be small. This one can get your whole body moving!


Tap Dancer

To start this invention dancing, you tap the foot pedal. Next, I'll add either twinkling lights or music. -Margaret
stuff you need
  • Dowel
  • String or yarn
  • Craft materials: tin foil, paper, beads, feathers
  • Foam
  • Cardboard
  • Copper foil
  • Cricket
  • Alligator clip (resistance) sensor.

The idea for this project came from Diane's invention: a bright yellow feather boa that danced whenever you stepped on a foot pedal.

First we'll make the foot pedal switch.

Cut two pieces of cardboard (about 4 inches by 8 inches). I decorated the piece that would be the top of my foot pedal, so that people would know where to step.

Tape the top and bottom pieces together along the short edge on the back side. The tape will make the "hinge" for the pedal.
Cut a piece of squishy foam about 2 inches thick and the width of your pedal.

The foam will hold the top of the pedal up, but will be squishy when you step down on it.

Glue the foam in place near the far end of the bottom piece of cardboard with hot glue.

Your pedal will use pieces of copper and a resistance sensor.

Cut two pieces of copper foil. Glue one on the underside of the top of the pedal, and the other on the piece of the foam.

Check the positions of your copper strips to make sure they DON'T touch when the pedal is up; and DO touch when you step on the pedal. Attach an alligator-clip resistance sensors to each piece of copper.
You can write a little program so you can test your sensor and see the values it returns to the Cricket.
Next, I made the "dancer" that the foot-pedal switch starts moving. I attached a long piece of tin foil to a dowel, trimmed the dowel, attached a piece of string to both ends of the dowel and...
...hung it from the ceiling.

Next, figure out a way to make your dance partner move.

I tried using the Rack from the Motion Module page. But the back-and-forth motion didn't really work with the foil.

Then I tried the Stirrer (also from the Motion Module page). I altered it a little (I added a longer shaft), and it worked much better.
I added more beads and decorations to the "dancer"...
... and invited a friend to try it out!
What else
Read about some rhythm and sound machines
See how swimming fish can create music

 
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