Tickle Robot

This is just a regular ticklish robot in a rocking chair. Come to think of it, that doesn’t sound very regular at all. Tickle the robot on its heart and it will start wiggle like crazy.


  • 1 Arduino Uno board
  • 1 Basic Education shield
  • 1 standard servo
  • 1 1M ohm resistor
  • 3 jumper wires
  • tin foil
  • masking tape
  • strings
  • 1 Tickle Robot kit
  • 1 breadboard


  1. Attach the shield onto the top of the Arduino board
  2. Build TickleRobot.
  3. Make a contact sensor by cutting a strip of aluminum foil. Wrap the paper around the heart of the plate TickleRobot, use masking tape around the edges to keep it. From the back of the heart plate, wraps foil to a loose wire – lose wire must be in contact with the foil, paste the connection firmly.
  4. Connect the servo cable to D9.
  5. Connect an 1kohm resistor between digital pin 2 and digital pin 3.
  6. Connect the loose wire of the touch sensor to digital pin 3.
  7. Connect your Arduino to the computer. Make sure that the library called CapacitiveSensor is installed in the libraries from your folder sketchbook/libraries. Upload the example File -> Examples -> Castilla -> Robots -> TickleRobot. Make sure the servo moves when you touch the tinfoil.
  8. Put the electronics inside the tickle robot at the bottom and place the servo in the left.
  9. Turn the servo by hand until the end. Turn it by hand to the position of 90 degrees. Fixing the rod-shaped arm along the servo.
  10. Tie a string to the left arm and leg, through the end hole of the servo arm. Do the same with the right arm and leg and tie them to the same place.


You can find the code at: File -> Examples -> Castilla -> Robots -> TickleRobot

How it works

When the capacitive sensor detects a touch, the servo motor rotates and pulls the strings back and forth so the robot lifts its arms and legs up and down. When the sensor does not detect touching, the servo is moved back to its original position.


  1. It does not react to tickling or the servo does not move to the correct angle? First see Standard Servo reference for debugging standard servo. If still not working, see the Capacitive Switch reference to for debugging.
  2. You can’t upload the code? Make sure that the CapacitiveSensor library is placed inside the libraries folder in your Arduino folder.

Experiment further

  • Can you make the TickleRobot dance according to a predefined way? Make it dance just after it’s touched.
  • Add another servo so it gets more advanced dancing moves!
  • Make the robot rock the chair by itself! Use the capacitive sensor to turn it on and off.