The mechanics were replaced with a servo and 3D printed parts designed to make the movement linear rather than arcing as in the traditional approach. The figures were fitted with magnets so that they could move without any obvious form of propulsion.
The electronics were based on an Arduino Yún, custom prototyping shield and an Infineon RGB LED driver shield. The whole thing is powered by a rechargable LiPo battery and a module from AdaFruit. Because the Arduino was deep in the middle of the house, I used fibre optics to bring the light to the top panel. A sensor was added into the roof so you could simply tap it to get it to update the forecast for you.
The project was build over a period of 16 weeks, the mechanical aspects were completed first and the 3D printing took several goes to get it right. The electronics build was fairly straightforward but fitting everything onto the proto shield was challenging and the high clearance for the Yún was also a challenge. The software was written as I went along with demo programs created to test each part. Getting the Yún to work on low power was fairly straightforward but getting a secure and validated HTTPS connection took a few attempts. tried to put as much of the processing into the Python script so that the C++ code was just handling the control. All in all a challenging project that pushed the Yún to it’s limits.
Learn more about the project on Andy’s blog.