This mechanical clock tells time using steel balls
October 11th, 2020—
There’s certainly no shortage of DIY clocks in the Arduino community; however, Eric Nguyen has come up with a rather unique way of showing hours and minutes: steel balls arranged as seven-segment displays.
For each time change, the face rotates down and a tray of arranged balls is lifted up to meet it via a servo motor assembly. Inside, a series of 28 servos capture and release the balls using magnet and linkage systems, plus another for the colon.
The device is powered by a Nano along with an RTC module for accurate timekeeping, and two PCA9685 driver boards control the motors directly.
As illustrated in the videos below, it’s an incredible build from a mechanical standpoint. Making it even more impressive, this is actually Nguyen’s first Arduino project!