Stephanie Yip

Automated Dancing Puppet
Engineering lab project using hardware and software to control a puppet
puppet set-up
Puppet set-up with motors and chasis
(Photo taken from Seattle University's ECE Department Facebook page)
Video demostrating the puppet's movements


As a part of my junior year electrical and computer engineering labs, I worked with a lab partner to implement a marionette puppet that performed a dance routine on command.

How the Puppet Worked

The puppet's movements were controlled by circuits and programmed in C on a Raspberry Pi. A motor with a connected optical encoder allowed us to control the puppet's limbs, which included moving each limb up or down by a set amount.

What We Did

Though the lab instructors had designed both the hardware and software, my lab partner and I were responsible for the construction, testing, and troubleshooting of the puppet. We had to read schematics, build and test the circuits, solder a printed circuit board (PCB), modify code to control the puppet's movements, and integrate the hardware and software.

I focused mainly on the software side of the project and worked together with my partner on other areas on the projects, including the troubleshooting and testing aspects.