Cocktail Umbrellas


I'm a complete Arduino noob, so please bear with me and I apologise in advance!

I'm trying to do a project where cocktail umbrellas open and close to form different shapes as such. I found this online which is a good basic demonstration of what I want to do:

It says it uses servos and Arduinos- could any of you expand on this?

Any help or guidance is massively appreciated!


A struggling fine art student!

Buy a servo motor and try the examples.

How many umbrellas we talkin’?

How many umbrellas - does it matter? Just demultiplex the servo controls to as many as needed.

Just demultiplex the servo controls to as many as needed.

Can you elaborate ? What kind of circuitry do you mean ? I know they are being sequenced so do you mean use a multiplexer like a CMOS 4051 ?

Some part where you select which output follows an input. Only the selected output goes low when the input goes low, rest stay high.

74154 is kind of power hungry tho - So servo output from '328 with 16 outputs as enables going thru 4 quad logic gates would work. Want all outputs low but the active one? Use AND gates. Want all outputs high high the active one? Use OR gates. Much cheaper too, even with 4 packages.

Using gates, can also have groups of them changing together too. Or use multiple servo signals out, have multiple umbrellas changing at different speeds.

JohnLincoln: If i had spent as much time, money and effort into making such an elaborate mechanism,

It's actually -very- simply, and fairly inexpensive. (These are one-off Lowes/Radio Shack/ebay prices not bulk.)

Melamine shelf $3 Wallwart to power the servos $10 Aluminum 'L' $20 Assorted hardware $5 Servos @$3.50 $65 Piano wire $4 Mega $60 Wire $6

Build -one- = 4 hours Replicate 15 times = 8 hours Software = 8 hours

Granted, the umbrellas may not last more than a few hundred cycles before things start to fall apart. Industrial grade cocktail umbrellas made out of ripstop and carbon fiber should last hundreds of thousands of cycles, maybe longer than the cheap servos. (But they cost an hour each to make.)

i would have made more than an 11 second video!

Sixteen cocktail umbrellas dancing to Pharrell's Happy Song? PRICELESS!!!

I'd also be annoyed that it only got 83 views in a year on YouTube.

Marketing -really- dropped the ball there. :(

Servo motors : 2 dollars :

Arduino Mega clone : 15 dollars :

Savings: about 70 dollars... to buy a some cocktails.

Here is the page of Christopher Abrams for the umbrellas, but not explanation ? detailed photos or schematic ?

Caltoa: Servo motors : 2 dollars :

That page that that link returned, there were 'available: 10' of Futaba S3003 @$1.50 free shipping and I -grabbed- them! They're slow but pull 44oz. The vendor had only 117 sales, all 100% good, so I'd risk it.

Arduino Mega clone : 15 dollars :

I don't mind buying retail once in a while, to help RS and Arduino stay in business. Arduino, so the can keep designing new products, and RS because when I need a resistor right -now- they're a 10 minute drive away. The Chinese certainly can build anything cheaper, but they wouldn't have bothered to invent it in the first place.