I want to make a copy of this machine Fisher Price Soothing Motions™ Glider and I'm wondering what motor to use? Simple DC motor with appropriate gearbox (slow rpm) or stepper motor?

Here is another instance of this idea.

  • $\begingroup$ This is a fairly broad question, because many motors might be suited to this task. $\endgroup$
    – Ian
    Jan 22, 2014 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ I should remember to look back at this question when we decide to have a baby! $\endgroup$
    – Shahbaz
    Jan 23, 2014 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ You would need a fairly powerful motor for this application and I would also be concerned about safety if you build your own. $\endgroup$
    – Guy Sirton
    Jan 23, 2014 at 20:49
  • $\begingroup$ @GuySirton I completely agree with the safety part. But the powerful one is relative. Even that, it needs just to overcome the inertia. Depending on the rotor, the inertia of the rotor could help the motor in the more requiring force travels. This with the motion being relatively slow, would let a fraction of hp to do the work. But, as the motor is supposed to run at continuous duty, I would be more concerned on thermostat, colling the motor, that is, safety. $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2014 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ @MarianPaździoch seems that the first one has linear motion, if so you should have to project the sliding mechanism too. The second one already shows the mechanism (reciprocating), with a DC brushed-motor and gear-box. $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2014 at 1:10

1 Answer 1


A DC or AC gearmotor is all you need. If you're asking about a stepper because of the change in direction, you can use a crank shaft mechanism to convert motion from rotary to reciprocating linear like the one in the above image:

a crank mechanism

  • $\begingroup$ Reciprocating motion - I was looking for that term, thanks. And by the way I've bought and disassembled "Fisher Price Soothing Motions™ Glider" - there is simple crankshaft mechanism with small toy-looking DC motor (cylinder shaped, ~3cm diameter, 3cm height) $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2014 at 9:15
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    $\begingroup$ @lyndon your answer would be a lot nicer with a drawing (or a picture) of such a mechanism... Maybe Marian could contribute a picture of the actual mechanism from the device? $\endgroup$
    – Guy Sirton
    Jan 23, 2014 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ I'm positive that I was able to upload a .gif animation to electronics.stackexchange.com before. Did StackExchange stop accepting gifs? Animations make it much easier to visualize stuff like this. $\endgroup$
    – lyndon
    Jan 24, 2014 at 1:16

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