Most of us have probably seen clocks or numerical displays that flip sequential boards to display the next number in a sequence. If you wanted to take that a step further, you could make a replica of “Dottie,” which flips small dots as pixels. As the great video below says, it makes a “pleasant mechanical flipping sound all day.” It also tells the date, chimes every 15 minutes, and gives an animation show once an hour.
If you wanted to make one of these devices, the technical details are on David Henshaw’s site. He includes an incredible number of pictures in the description, and includes the Arduino code here. If you have any illusions about this being an easy project, the wiring seen above should help you get a grasp on the scope of this project. There was also the mechanical challenge of fitting everything together nicely, programming, and getting the chimes to work. It took David months to get this assembly working.
It’s a very cool project, and despite the scope, makes me tempted to try something similar. Of course, like many “makers,” sometimes my eyes are bigger than my garage, so I’ve got a few other projects to complete before something like this should even be considered!