Brand-spanking new from Monk Makes, the company that brought us the RasPiRobot Board and the Electronics Starter Kit, to name a few, comes a motorised puppet kit, designed for complete newbies and maker-ninjas alike. The kit is supplied in self-assembly form, however no prior experience or fancy tools are required. Furthermore, if coding isn't your finest strength, then you are in luck, as the kit also comes with an entire library of pre-written code so that you can get your puppet dancing immediately!
Get yours now from Amazon.co.uk by clicking here. This kit is due to arrive on the US version of Amazon shortly, so stay tuned.
Inside the box, you will find everything that you need, including a very helpful and detailed instruction booklet that will guide you through how to build and use the puppet kit like a pro! You simply need to bring your own Pi!
As you can see from the picture on the right, the kit includes a string puppet (of course!), four servo motors and necessary arms, the base (made from very sturdy and customisable plywood), a battery case and a servo controller board (designed specifically for the kit by Simon Monk) and of course all of the screws and wires needed!
The software included with the kit contains a great program that acts in a similar way to a stop motion animation - allowing the user to adjust the position of the puppet using the keys on a keyboard, and record each position with the tap of the space bar. A sequence can then be built up and played back/repeated when required. The video on the right shows the puppet performing the viral 'running man challenge', which I created using the stop-motion program.
As you can see from the picture on the left, when building my own personal puppet kit, I decided to use small cable ties to keep the wires neat, however this is completely optional.
Overall, the Kit is another example of a fantastic way for complete beginners to learn to use the Raspberry Pi in a fun and engaging way. The instructions are simple and comprehensive, and the end product is fun and exciting with potential limited to the creativity of the user! Fantastic.