November 24, 2007
Reading for November 27th, are now posted. Enjoy!

October 2, 2007
To upload your thoughtless acts, create a new assignment page like any other lab. You'll see "Thoughtless Acts" listed as one of the assignment options.

May 24, 2008
This site has been archived and is no longer editable. Stay tuned for the next version, coming in the fall!

Lab 8: Cuckoo Clock

Project Members: 
Ethan DeYoung
Hsin-Hsien Chiu
Laura Greig


The main idea for this assignment is to use amount of gears and hand-made mechanic components to build up the whole model. Using as much mechanical components as we could and make them all be controlled by one sever motor is another challenge for our project. In this way, we need to spend time on figuring out how these gears connect to each other and how we could fix and set every component into specific position.


Gears x 6

Rubber Band x 2

Pin x 8

Card Board


clay (cuckoo bird)

hand-dyeing paper (cuckoo bird)

Arduino Code:

* @author n8agrin
* 20071101
* Listen for a bit from the serial port and then open the doors and push the bird out.

int servoPin = 7; // Control pin for servo motor

int pulseWidth = 0; // Amount to pulse the servo
long lastPulse = 0; // the time in millisecs of the last pulse
int refreshTime = 20; // the time in millisecs needed in between pulses

int MAXPULSE = 1998;
int MINPULSE = 1;

int minPulse = 500;

int val; // variable used to store data from serial port

void setup() {
pinMode(servoPin, OUTPUT); // Set servo pin as an output pin
pulseWidth = minPulse; // Set the motor position to the minimum
Serial.begin(9600); // connect to the serial port
Serial.println("servo ready");

void loop() {

val =;
if (val == 'L') { //on
pulseWidth = 1998;
else if (val == 'H') { //off
pulseWidth = 1;
updateServo(); // update servo position

// called every loop().
void updateServo() {
// pulse the servo again if rhe refresh time (20 ms) have passed:
if (millis() - lastPulse >= refreshTime) {
digitalWrite(servoPin, HIGH); // Turn the motor on
delayMicroseconds(pulseWidth); // Length of the pulse sets the motor position
digitalWrite(servoPin, LOW); // Turn the motor off
lastPulse = millis(); // save the time of the last pulse

Processing Code:

import processing.serial.*;

Serial port;
PFont andale;

void setup(){


void draw(){
int h = hour();
int m = minute();
int s = second();
andale = loadFont("AndaleMono-24.vlw");
textFont(andale, 24);
text(h, width/2-75, 100);
text(":", width/2-50, 100);
text(m, width/2-25, 100);
text(":", width/2, 100);
text(s, width/2+25, 100);
if (m == 0 || m==15 || m==30 || m==45 || keyPressed){
// println("cuckoo!");

// println("off");

Before Servo Motor Mounted:







Servo Motor Mounted:




Cuckoo bird:

cuckoo bird








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