Fire Breathing Animatronic Waterfowl, Just Because

Unless you’re a collector or a hunter, waterfowl decoys are pretty boring. Radio controlled decoys that can putt around are kind of cool. But a radio controlled animatronic fire-breathing decoy? That’s the very opposite of boring.

This is another one of those projects from the “Why the Hell Not?” files, and [David Windestål] is pretty clear that there’s no practical purpose for a flame-throwing, floating fowl. This doesn’t stop him from including 100-plus pictures as well as the video below in his detailed build log, and there are actually some tips to be had here. The remains of an RC racing boat that can hit 30 km/h are used for the floating gear; sadly the decoy superstructure reduces the speed by a factor of 10, so if you’re hoping for a high-performance decoy you’ll be disappointed. The rotating head and evil glowing LED eyes make up for that, though, as does the articulated beak. But the butane flame thrower, with laser-cut acrylic frame and servo flow control, really adds to the menace of the Duck from Hell. Or goose. Whatever.

As with most projects of this type, this is clearly a “do not try this at home” build, but it looks like a bunch of fun. For more ill-advised fun check out this mini RC flame thrower or the Doof warrior ukulele.

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Quacking egg timer

[Tom] managed to build a geeky, quirky digital timer for the kitchen. Where most would have used a few seven segment displays along with some buttons and called it done, he found a way to make it a lot more fun. The plush addition on top is a yellow ducky with an orange beak. When time runs out the duck will quack, call you back to the kitchen.

As you can see in the video after the break, [Tom’s] got his hands full with the family. This project was quick enough for him to fit it in during what dwindling free time he manages to hold onto. He used one of the chips that came with his MSP430 Launchpad. Since this family of processors offer extremely low-power modes when asleep they’re perfect for this type of battery-powered application. As for the duck, it’s a toy that had a couple of watch batteries and a small PCB inside. Some poking around led him to a pad that activates the quacking when grounded.

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Naughty Duck will be the end of Secret Santa at your place of work

Aw, isn’t he cute? Looks are deceiving, because if you get him started, this duck says some vulgar things. [Gigavolt] found the little guy abandoned at the Goodwill store and decided it might have some hacking potential. Boy was he right. The stock toy can already sing a tune while flapping its beak and wings. After spending some time in [Gigavolt’s] lair, this duck is going to be on the naughty list. The best part is that this is going to end up in the hands of someone else thanks to a Secret Santa exchange.

The build article linked above is safe for you to read at work, but the video embedded after the break most certainly is not. [Gigavolt] got to work replacing the integrated circuit inside with his own PIC 16F628 microcontroller. He uses a new audio track, which is played back by a SOMO-14D audio player board. The two use different input voltage levels which is something of a bother, but it’s a standby power drain that has been vexing [Gigavolt] he rolled his own board using the DorkbotPDX order and can’t figure out why the current consumption is so high. Take a look at the cursing duck, then see if you can’t troubleshoot his electrical issues.

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RC duck decoys


Here’s something for those of you who always wanted your projects to attract more shotgun blasts. [courtney] built two RC duck decoys. The decoys were only $10 to begin with and the RC submarines were an additional $20 at RadioShack. The construction is fairly clever, using a heat gun to conform the duck body to the submarine. We think the most surprising bit is that this has been done many times over: RC duck with rocket launcher, RC duck cam, and someone is producing commercial ones. Whatever you end up putting in your remotely operated duck, we’ll be sure to include it in our next movie plot threat entry.