Inspired by a special two-axis mechanism that uses a pair of beveled gears to create panning and tilting motions, maker and YouTuber JBV Creative wanted to integrate it into a larger kinetic sculpture that could move electromechanically while also looking great at the same time. This led to the creation of RobBob, which is essentially a robot-shaped head that has been placed onto a pan/tilt system.
Initially, RobBob could only move with the help of a person turning a pair of opposing knobs — one for each axis. But after some minor additions, including mounts on each side for a single servo motor and adapters that allow servo horns to attach to the knobs, RobBob could now move on its own power. At first, JBV considered using a serial monitor to send rotation commands, although he eventually settled on an N64 joystick since it was a more natural choice for fluid motion.
After writing a small program, which takes in joystick data from the N64 controller and converts it into positional data for the servos, JBV loaded it onto an Arduino Uno. To see RobBob in action, check out JBV Creative’s demo/build video below or read more about the project on his website.