Fritz: Support Page (Assembly, Software Installation, etc)

There are two phases of setup for Fritz.  1) Mechanical Assembly and 2) Software Installation and Configuration.

Mechanical Assembly

You can click here to download written Assembly Instructions.  There is also a video available showing details of the assembly process on youtube.  Click below to view this.

Software Installation

Once you have assembled Fritz, follow the steps below to install software and get him moving.

1) Download Fritz software by clicking on this link.

 2) Unzip this to your computer. suggested location is 

     c:\Program Files\Fritz\

3) You will need the DotNet framework installed. If you don't have this, you can download from

4) Download Arduino Software and install to your computer. Suggested location is "C:\Program Files"

5) Power Fritz with battery pack or AC adapter. USB power is NOT ENOUGH to power Fritz. USB power will power the Arduino board, but cannot supply enough current to run the servo motors. If you try to run Fritz with USB power only, he will appear to "twitch" as the motors power up, use up all the USB port current available and then the Arduino board will reset repeatedly.

6) Install USB drivers. You can now plug in Fritz's USB cable into your computer. If you are running an OS later than Windows Vista it should automatically download all needed drivers. If it fails to download the appropriate drivers you will get a popup message that will ask for the location of the Arduino Drivers. Point this as the Drivers folder that you extracted as part of the Fritz software download. Normally this would be c:\Program Files\Fritz\Drivers\

7) Run the Arduino IDE by navigating to the directory where the Arduino software is installed (c:\Program Files\) and run the "arduino.exe" file.

8) When the Arduino software window opens, click on File/Open and navigate to the c:\Program Files\Frtiz\Arduino\Fritz folder and open the Fritz.ino file.

9) The firmware code will be loaded into a new Arduino window and shown as below. Click on the Upload button (2nd from left, has the right facing arrow). This will take a minute or so. When done you should see the message at bottom of screen stating "Uploading " and then the "Done uploading" message at bottom of screen. You can then close both Arduino windows.

10) If the upload fails it is possible that you may have more than one operational serial port. You can change the serial port using the Tools->Serial Port->COMX menu to change to the next serial port. Once complete repeat the Upload (Previous Step) until successful.

11) Be sure to now have connected each motor/servo wires to the Arduino. Do this by starting with DIO pin 3 and connected wires till you reach pin 13. Then attach the last 2 to the A0 and A1 pins. Note that GND and AREF are after pin 13 which should NOT be connected to. Be careful to respect polarity, i.e. attach white/yellow wire to the S or Signal pin, Red to the middle V or Positive pin, and black/brown to the G or Negative pin. The labels for the pin types are on the bottom side of the pin array.

12) You can now run Fritz.exe located in c:\Program Files\Fritz\ If all goes well the Red Disconnected bar should change to a Green Connected.

13) Before you can control/program Fritz you need to define the minimum and maximum limits of each facial feature. This is required since you have to prevent over extending the facial part otherwise you may break Fritz. Select Options->Setup Motors to view that interface.

a. Disable all face parts by unselecting all checkboxes.

b. Enable the "Left Eyebrow" checkbox.

c. Ensure that all the values for Center, Minimum and Maximum are set to zero.

d. By pressing the down button reduce the Minimum value below zero. Some part of Fritz should start moving slowly.

e. Based on which part is moving, enable that checkbox, copy the Pin number and continue to determine the minimum value.

f. Determine the maximum value for the facial part by pressing the up spin button.

g. To test the values in actual usage, click on the Test button next to that facial part. It will cause that part to cycle between maximum and minimum. Press the Test button again to stop this cycle.

h. Continue back on Left Eyebrow until you have found and adjusted all facial parts. A couple notes on each part:

  • Keep in mind that right is YOUR right and NOT Fritz's right side.
  • Eyebrows - The minimum will start to cross over the eyelid. If you go too far the eyebrow will cause stress on the eyelid. Be sure to stop the minimum value before it would touch the eyelid.
  • Eyelids - Adjust the minimum and maximum to just when the eyelid is closed and when it is fully open. If you go beyond these limits the servos will start buzzing to indicate that they are stressed beyond their limits.
  • Eyes - Adjust the values until you hear the servo start buzzing.
  • Jaw - Note the jaw can open very wide, ensure that the minimum value is not too open. Likewise, if the maximum value is too high the servo will start buzzing.

14) Keyboard control panel - You can now hold down the CTRL key and use the arrow keys to move Fritz's head left and right. Use CTRL-spacebar to lower the mouth. For additional keystrokes have a look at Options->Keyboard Configuration

15) If desired, you can control Fritz using a Joystick. In the program menu is an option for joystick setup.  Plug in a USB joystick. If you have all the needed drivers for the USB joystick, Fritz will respond to joystick movements. Start out slowly in order to ensure you don't overextend anything to get a feel for how Fritz moves under joystick control. He's quite responsive!