After getting some much-needed advice, I realized I should probably make the crane cage behave significantly different from other/typical claw machines. This is an art project, after all, and I wouldn’t want to put my current Arduino knowledge/potential to waste(!).
At this point I have already ordered a small, relatively inexpensive claw machine game from Amazon (found here). I do plan on opening the machine up temporarily to inspect its inner workings, but perhaps I don’t actually have to take it apart; instead, I can possibly add/detract from the functions, and alter the way it looks to make it more “artistic” and conceptually interesting.
For starters, I considered different ways of inputting commands to make the claw move. Perhaps using joysticks is too “ordinary” and expected.
A claw game using alternative methods of controlling the claw has actually been done before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2X72bLjsO4
I’ve also browsed a few pages regarding toy hacking, especially those with controllers (like RC cars)
A few alternatives to standard joystick:
- PIR Sensor (link,
- Internet/Text Message input
On another note, additional outputs might make this more interesting to look at.
- Additional LEDs, responding to wins/loses/idle states
- Emitting “bird sounds,” depending on the position/location of the claw within the machine
General wikipedia page for claw machines: Link
I also realize that the birds/prizes themselves might need to be an appropriate size. Currently, the origami paper I have to work with comes in 1 1/2″ and 2″ inches in width.