Baby Butterscotch the security/welcome horse

Just so people who are easily startled are aware, VHS has a new greeter. Baby Butterscotch the security/welcome horse. Located in the upstairs front lobby.

*edit - now with video!

Be forewarned, she will whinny you a greeting when you come in, and she likes attention.

I will post a more detailed write up later on the wiki but in short. Take one of these:

Skin it, cut it in half, paint it gold and mount it to a plaque and connect a microcontroller with a triforce of PIR sensors to it, add some neopixels and relays to trigger the capacitive touch sensors on the side of the horse and you have whatever the heck this is.

Its set up to stay awake for 25 seconds after the last detected motion and stay asleep for at least 20 seconds. This is adjustable, I will post the code to github at some point.

It has a microphone so when awake it will respond to music and high pitched voices (they knew their target market). Also the capacitive sensors on the head are functional so give it a pet on its copper stars and hearts on your way by.

If its driving you nuts, it can be unplugged, no harm in unplugging it at any time or plugging it back in. Runs on 6v and I labelled its power supply.

Thanks @Janet for the awesome present and @Metal_Janet for the help.


This is just more fabulous that I could have ever possibly imagined. I love it. Looking forward to shrieking at it in a high-pitched voice next time I’m at VHS. The gold is also very excellent.


HOLY CRAP!!! I come back to talk after about a month off and this is the first thing I see!!! I’m laughing my ass off!

Thank you so much for this!


This is full stop amazing


Amazing! @Zee_Kesler this is your Magic Trout on steroids!


So, i am aware of its presence, yet it still scared the shit out of me when I entered the space


Nobody expects the spanish adalusian.
*edit - wait, Adalusian Inquisition is better.


So update, the horse has gone mute. That was fun and got a whole 10 days out of it. The motors and everything else still work, just no whinny’s.

Doesnt look like sabotage (but if so, props for not leaving obvious evidence, I was expecting a cut wire or a screw driver through the speaker :stuck_out_tongue:)

Got busy with the video wall build but I’ll have an investigation launched when I have some cycles, until then enjoy the blissfull whir of motors to greet you.

Oh and give the pony a pet, its gotta be rough losing your voice in such a public role.


Good news everyone, the pony is back!
It had apparently broken a speaker wire, got that fixed, and then hackspace happened so now its got a new speaker, and a switch, and a speed hole. The new speaker is a bit quieter (8ohm speaker with an 8ohm resistor to replace a 16ohm speaker) but eh its working.


“and then hackspace happened”. Hahahhaah <3


Bad news everyone, the pony has developed a bit of a twitch. Seems like the head motor has lost its postion sense so it just keeps spinning forever. Fun fact, one motor does the ears, eyes, and neck. Value engineering! Anyhoo with the sensor thingy pooched it makes the pony act like a neurotic thoroughbred before a big race. I have hidden the powersupply until I get a chance to operate.

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Good news everyone, its back! Turns out it broke another wire internally, I fixed it and hot glued the crap out of everything so hopefully it doesn’t happen again. (Honestly thought I wasnt going to get to it for a while…)

Also check this out, this is how you control the eyes, ears, mouth and head tilt off of one motor cheaply. The metal contacts are on the motor and spin with it, the circuit board is the contact traces. Depending on which are shorted it knows where the shaft is.