I can't reveal too much about how this viral video was put together for my friends at Publicis and Hal Riney (for their client SanDisk), but I did build a massive amount of robotic "puppet" hard drives. By soldering wires directly to the coil on the reader-arm, and switching the polarity on an 18V current, a controller can make these little guys DANCE! Also featured in there is a separate oscillator circuit for blinking lights on certain drives. I used phone wire all over the place, like a mile of the stuff. Because each drive needed 4 wires and because they were breaking all the time, they needed to be modular, and the jacks helped a lot. I had to drill holes through the casings to feed my tricky little wires through.
After the construction and the shoot days (special thanks to Cyrus W-W for keeping the fragile robots alive long enough for a precious few full takes) I also helped with the audio post -- although there wasn't much to do there because EVERYTHING YOU HEAR WAS (we are not making this up) ACTUALLY PRODUCED by the hard drives in the video! no joke! no kidding! for real! what...? My friend Ben Mullins, producer of the video, is the guy in photo #1 posing for a demo of the project before we got client approval.