Zigobot - Interactive Christmas Display

One of our distributors, Zigobot, created an Interactive Christmas display powered by Arduino. 

Christmas mice display using Arduino

Christmas dancing mice display using Arduino

While strolling through the city of Lausanne, Switzerland this weekend, we discovered a wonderful Christmas display showing a mice band playing and dancing to music. After researching about it, we found out that mice were powered by Arduino, and that the creator of this incredible project is one of our distributors: Zigobot. We met with him for an interview this week.

Swiss Arduino distributor Zigobot in Lausanne

What did you create and for whom?
This project has been created for a few different Bon Génie shops in Switzerland, showing mice dancing to Django Reinhardt.

How did you come up with the idea?
The idea came from the head designer of the Bon Génie stores, to whom I proposed to install two actuators in mice to differentiate them from all the others automatons that we can usually see.

How does the display work?
I use two Arduino boards powering two DC motors for dancing couples and the 8 NeoPixel Jewels from Adafruit for the display. The 10 servo motors for the musicians use an 18 channel servo board from Pololu, and for the single dancer, another 6 channel servo board from Pololu.

Zigobot office for the Christmas display preparation using Arduino

Zigobot working on the Christmas display using Arduino

How long have you been working on this project?
I finished the project in a little more than one month. A rough prototype was first realized in about five days before the final models.

How did you build the mechanism?
The mechanism was performed on a 3-axis milling machine in a hard plastic generally used to make advertising engraved plates. 3 different mechanisms are required for the different rotating and balancing movements. I didn’t take care of the music. It uses some kind of new gadget to create a speaker by putting them on any kind of surface.

How many displays in total did you create?
There are a total of 15 windows, each with five musicians, two couples of dancers and an isolated dancer. Ninety (90) mice with two servo motors, and 30 dancing couples.

Did you work alone?
For the most part, yes. My friend came to do some sewing, and I got some extra help from an intern and another friend of mine, when they had time.

Zigobot preparing the servo motors powered by Arduino

Zigobot office preparing the mice using Arduino

Zigobot sewing the mice using Arduino

Zigobot preparing the mice using Arduino

Zigobot and the mice for the Christmas display using Arduino



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