RC Servo w/ Sound Effects

Hey everyone,

I'm looking to create a remote-controlled servo with the ability to play sound effects.

I have identified two shields that I can use: Motor Control / Sound Ideally I'd like the controller to be as simple as possible and to have the servo-side of the project to have the arduino.

My constraints:

  • The servo/speaker must be controlled without line-of-sight.
  • The servo/speaker must be controlled at a maximum of 3 meters.

In my head this should be simple, but I've no clue where to start with the radio-control bit.

Anyone got any ideas?

Thanks, Steffan James


There are lots of cheap RF modules which would do the job, check out the examples in the Arduino playground. Bluetooth could also do the job over that range. Be aware the Wave shield uses a great number of pins so check that whatever module you use for radio doesn't clash with those.

Cheers ! Geoff

What do you want to use as the input?

If you’re looking for something like a conventional RC handset then I suggest you use a plain standard RC system and just use the Arduino to plug in where a servo would normally go, and produce your sound effects rather than moving a motor. In Arduino terms there doesn’t seem anything especially difficult about that - it’s easy enough to decode a servo control signal, and also easy to produce sounds using a wave shield.

There is quite a lot of info on reading rc signals and also generating sound with Arduino on my blog - rcarduino.blogspot.com

Duane B


Note, the servo and sound card both want to use timer1, which you will need to be worked around. In general, any time you use multiple shields/libraries you need to make sure each doesn’t use the same resources. See the FAQ for details: Audio Shield for Arduino - FAQ.

If you just want to play a single sound effect for 10 seconds or so, perhaps you want something like an ISD1820 chip, which is used in those greeting cards kids can record and send to their grandparents. I believe you only need to make a pin go high to play the sound effect. Here is one such unit on ebay from a US seller: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ISD1820-Voice-Board-Voice-Module-Sound-Recording-Module-/221180636859?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item337f64aebb

Here is a how-to on how to create your own version of a musical greeting card: http://jarv.org/2011/11/custom-musical-greeting-card-for-less-than-5/