The Brief

Sina Ball and Julian Slama

DivcoWest is having a groundbreaking ceremony in 2017 for North Point Development in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. Groundbreakings are boring, they are just a bunch of officials wearing hardhats shoveling dirt with a ceremonial shovel, so DivcoWest had us create robots to make it more fun.  We created the Mischievous Moles to help the audience have a more exciting and fun experience by making a comical plot of cute moles stealing shovels. 

Moles are annoying to be on any owned property and the game Whack - A - Mole highlights that in a more violent way. While moles (luckily) don't have any sentimental or very meaningful ties to the site we think that it still makes sense to joke about a bunch of pesky moles messing around on the site popping up and stealing shovels. We needed two mechanisms, one to pop up the moles and another to take shovels. A rack and pinion moves the mole up and down, there is a motor attached to the pinion and there is a switch to get it to go down. We used Arduino to get it to work. The shovel is pulled down with a string that is attached to a spool, we use a motor to turn the spool which pulls the shovel down.