“The Cow Jumped Over The Moon”

[Ash] built Moo-Bot, a robot cow scarecrow to enter the competition at a local scarecrow festival. We’re not sure if Moo-bot will win the competition, but it sure is a winning hack for us. [Ash]’s blog is peppered with delightful prose and tons of pictures, making this an easy to build project for anyone with access to basic carpentry and electronics tools. One of the festival’s theme was “Out of this World” for space and sci-fi scarecrows. When [Ash] heard his 3-year old son sing “hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle…”, he immediately thought of building a cow jumping over the moon scarecrow. And since he had not seen any interactive scarecrows at earlier festivals, he decided to give his jumping cow a lively character.

Construction of the Moo-Bot is broken up in to three parts. The skeleton is built from lumber slabs and planks. The insides are then gutted with all of the electronics. Finally, the whole cow is skinned using sheet metal and finished off with greebles to add detailing such as ears, legs, spots and nostrils. And since it is installed in the open, its skin also doubles up to help Moo-bot stay dry on the insides when it rains. To make Moo-Bot easy to transport from barn to launchpad, it’s broken up in to three modules — the body, the head and the mounting post with the moon.

Moo-Bot has an Arduino brain which wakes up when the push button on its mouth is pressed. Its two OLED screen eyes open up, and the MP3 player sends bovine sounding audio clips to a large sound box. The Arduino also triggers some lights around the Moon. Juice for running the whole show comes from a bank of eight, large type “D” cells wired to provide 6 V — enough to keep Moo-Bot fed for at least a couple of months.

Check out the video after the break to hear Moo-bot tell some cow jokes – it’s pretty funny. We’re rooting for it to win the competition — Go Moo-bot.

If you’re hungry for more scarecrows, this isn’t the first we’ve seen.

12 thoughts on ““The Cow Jumped Over The Moon”

  1. Interesting, seems like the idea has an international root theme with various farm animals!
    Before now, I thought “the farm annimal jumping over the Moon” was just a song from a Romanian artist, Ada Milea, about a sheep, not a cow.


    :o)

    The song has very hard to explain references. It is related with the cold war era travel interdiction, when the people from the Eastern Europe (communist countries) were banned to travel into any Western Countries, except with a very, very few privileged people, of course.

          1. A translate from Ro version (words/story whole meanings is different between Ada Milea artist rhymes and Wikipedia):

            “The little sheep wants to jump over the “sheep pen/folding/closing/confinement pen” until the spring come
            “All the winter the little sheep trains,
            “The little sheep wants to jump over ’till spring
            “The spring sprout
            “The little sheep appears
            “Makes a good jump
            “And arrived to the Moon

            “Now, the Sheppard is very upset
            “Why did he need to make the fence up to the Moon
            “So even the Devil can’t jump it?!

            “Now, the Sheppard is very upset
            “Why did he need to make the fence up to the Moon
            “So even the Devil can’t jump it?!

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