Bubblesteen Bubble Machine using an Arduino

Arduino Bubble Machine

Is it a 3D Spherical Atmosphere Encapsulated Phosphorous Printer?   YES!

Is it a CNC Anti Gravity transparent Orb Machine!   YES!

Its The Bubblesteen Bubble Machine! The spherical miracle that kids and cats have been waiting for. It comes complete with robotic edge detection( when a bubble hits an edge it pops, thus the edge has been detected).

Turn up the sound and watch Lester the cat battle it out with the Bubblesteen!

* No animals were harmed during testing.

This project came about after playing around with pan and tilt using servos. Most of the pan and tilt senereos I saw involved using webcams or some type of camera, which pan and tilt is perfect for. There are some good instructables and how-to’s on the web for this very thing.

I may not have an available camera, but I did have some bubble mix 🙂


Arduino Bubble Machine

Step 1: Things you will need

This list is mostly for the electronic and mechanical stuff. How you create your own Bubblesteen will depend on your creativity and what you have laying around.

I will also include small tips on the materials I used and things to be careful of

  1. 1. Arduino Duemilanove  $30.00
  2. 1 motor shield  $19.50 (www.adafruit.com) * It is made to fit the Duemilanove
  3. 2 micro servos- I used Hextronik HXT 500 $3.50 each (www.hobbyking.com)
  4. 1 DC toy motor- something between 3v and 12v – easy to find, motor shield docs will help you decide if what you may already have will work.
  5. 1 thing of bubble mix. – find at CVS or a dollar store. Some work better than others

These things I used, but are not critical. This is where your own creativity will need to come to play.

  1.  1 roll of perferated metal tape- any hardware store
  2.  nuts and bolts of various sizes – thread count not critical 🙂
  3.  diamond plate- local scrap yard
  4.  aluminum channel- local scrap yard
  5.  1 threaded rod hanger/ plate
  6.  earthquake putty or museum wax
  7.  5 minute epoxy
  8.  1/4″ acrylic sheet- about 6″ x 6″ worth
  9.   acrylic adhesive

The tools you need will once again depend on what you build yours out of.

Step 2: Dealing with the micro controller

I am going to assume that you have some experience with the Arduino. If not, you can check out either the web or this site for starting with arduino. 

I will say that Ladyada’s site www.adafruit.com is great for tutorials and buying arduino related stuff. In fact, you should refer to her site about using  the Adafruit motor shield anyway.

The instructions on using the motor shield will tell you where to hook in the servo and DC motor, so I will not go into those details. Bubble Machine connection

The code I used is posted below.

It is not the most elegant and for the most part hobbled together, but it works. Make sure you have the library for the motor shield


Step 3: Putting it together

I had some diamond plate at the shop, so this became the platform.

Tip # 1 – The reason the arduino will be mounted below the platform is so it won’t get wet.  I am pretty positive a wet microcontroller doesn’t work very well. Stuff will spash around!

Step 4: Arduino & Motor Shield Platform

These are just photos showing the construction of the microcontroller platform. I decided to have an on-off  switch and a power jack.

Read more: Bubblesteen Bubble Machine using an Arduino

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *