News & Articles

Get started learning to build your own electronics by following our FREE online courses below!
Learn More »



Build Like A Pyro!
Find many of the parts used on this site at our favorite online electronics shop
Take Me To The Gadgetory!
Humanoid Robot Giger

Posted July 5, 2017 by Chris

"This bot was designed in Autodesk Inventor, and machined from 5052 alloy aircraft aluminum using a Sherline 2000 CNC and some work from Rapid Sheet Metal. He stands 62cm tall, weighs about 5kg and uses a total of 10x EX-106+, 6x RX-64s, and 8x RX-28s."

Animatronic ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’ Plant

Posted June 24, 2015 by Chris

"This animatronic plant was originally created for a local production of Little Shop of Horrors. I ‘repurposed’ it for a local library’s summer reading program in 2008. The narration was recorded using Sound Forge and the soundtrack was produced in Acid. All was done in house at Sleeping Dragon Studios, Ltd."

Magic 8-Ball Pumpkin

Posted February 24, 2014 by Chris

"The Magic 8-Ball Pumpkin was my 2012 entry in the Rosenwinkel pumpkin carving competition….My entry this year was a working Magic 8-Ball, powered by an Arduino Mega and a set of sensors to detect motion. A gyroscope and an accelerometer are used to detect when the 8-Ball has been picked up and/or shaken, while an IR receiver is used to power on or off in response to a remote control. "

Mini Robotic Arm: Wood, Serovs and Plastic

Posted July 15, 2013 by Chris

“Time to build: 10 hours, Weight: 65 grams,
Actuators / output devices: 4 micro servos,
Control method: controlled by a PIC16F690 assembler firmware,
CPU: PIC16f690 micro controller
Power source: 4.8V to 6V from 4 battery cells
Sensors / input devices: teach in system with 4 potentiometers”

Billy Bass Hack

Posted June 5, 2012 by Chris

“This is a modification to the Gemmy Toys Billy Big Mouth Bass. This hack is modeled after Marsette Vona’s famous Embedded Billy Bass Hack. Marsette’s original circuit was based on an 8051 type of chip. I have modified the project to use a PIC16F819 microcontroller and a common LM386 audio amp because I am more familiar with these parts. I considered this a great learning project.”

PIC Powered CNC Drill

Posted November 23, 2011 by Chris

“Made from Dremel drill and drill press. I removed the bottom plate & mounted the column to the back with U-bolts. Acrylic is so easy to work with. It can be cut, drilled milled & glued and it’s very strong, doesn’t warp or break easily. The design is the same as the big PCB drills, the table moves, not the drill head. With the exception the real machine tables I’ve worked around ride on air.”

Omnidirectional Monocular Vision (SLAM)

Posted August 29, 2011 by Chris

If you’re interested in computer vision, here’s a project that can give you some ideas for the limitations and capabilities that one person can achieve. This student built SLAM for his graduate thesis and the outcome is quite impressive. The project write-up has a lot of video demonstrations, pictures and details on how it was made and how it works.

Animatronic Neck [DIY]

Posted August 25, 2011 by Chris

And now to finish off Robotics Week strong: This week, we’re adding an Animatronic Neck to the grand Animatronic Head that we’ve been building. A Pan and Tilt system will be used with 2 servo motors actuating the system. Pictures and demo videos document the construction and testing process for the final chapter in PyroElectro’s robotics month.

Homemade Animatronic Mouth

Posted August 19, 2011 by Chris

Continuing with the Animatronics Tutorials for August, this week brings us to Animatronic Mouths. The tutorial shows you two unique methods for building mouths. One mouth is articulated with a hobby servo and the other mouth uses a 16×2 LCD display. The process for building each type of mouth is detailed out with many pictures, descriptions and demonstrations.

[DIY] Animatronic Eyes

Posted August 11, 2011 by Chris

Ready for the next Animatronics Tutorial for robotics month? This week, we’re building Animatronic Eyes using an improvised 2-axis gimbal system. Realistic robotic eyes are difficult to build but this pair of eyes creates quite a decent illusion. Pico/Micro Hobby Servos are used as actuators and standard MDF board for building material.