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Animatronic winged demon terrorizes local garage

WingedDemonVideo005

Halloween is on its way, and if you’re going to do it right, you’re going to overdo it right. A few days ago we showed you [Jake's] flying Crank Ghost, the idea is simple and creates lovely motion that is sure to scare some small children. But what if you want people leaving your little shop of horrors needing a new pair of pants? Meet the Animatronic Winged Demon by [Woody]. Very little info is given except for the touch screen controller, the central control system, and his unique use of a modular skeleton, but the project is very impressive none the less. If the demon doesn’t scare you, take a look at the miles of wires needed to control it. Check out a video after the break.

[via HackedGadgets] [Read more...]

A modular Halloween with grid beam

gridbeam

The fantastic Creatrope blog has a great article on quickly assembling animatronic Halloween gags using salvaged electric motors, pvc pipe, and “grid beam” construction.

Grid beam is a prototyping and building medium that’s like a giant hippie Erector set. You can’t buy grid beam, but with a drill press, a jig, and some square stock you can create your own unlimited supply. It’s ideal for “sketching” and temporary constructions like these Halloween props. After use, everything can be dismantled, stored flat, and later reused for the next [Herbie Hancock] music video creative project. Looks like fun!

The article wraps up with some valuable pointers on getting started with grid beam and where to acquire parts.

Life size animatronic wolf tail

tail076

We’re not 100% sure the usefulness of this hack, but it is extremely interesting regardless and will probably make a lot of furries happy. WolfTronix presents their method for creating a realistic animatronic wolf tail. It uses an Atmel MCU controlling two servos alongside a mess of Klixx toys and paper clips to produce a nice wag motion. The guide is extremely detailed and looks to be fun, so long as you don’t mind the monotonous task of shaving off potentially hundreds of ‘nubs’ as they call them. Either way, you’ll definitely have the best (and only…) tail on the block.

Thanks [J. Peterson]

Hackit: Crap modding

When Boing Boing Gadgets posted about this $13 robot hand music box, we immediately thought “OH EXPLOITABLE!”. Over the years, we’ve acquired quite a bit of cheap trash just operating under the assumption that we would turn it into something else. Most of our acquisitions are Woot‘s fault. Just this morning we were dismayed to find out that the purveyor of cheap electronics had already sold out of animatronic Elvis heads. Now that would have been fun. We’ve purchased things like Tony Hawk helmet cams, jumbo remotes, Bluetooth headphones, Gyration mice, IMFree chatpads, and many other items of questionable use thinking that some day we’d use it. How about you? What sort of irrational purchases have you made and what would you do with a $13 mechanized hand?

[Just as we were wrapping this up, Woot posted a $49 HMD; you better believe we bought that.]

The Rock-afire Explosion movie trailer


A small group of enthusiasts have apparently been restoring and reprogramming the animatronic bands from the former Showbiz Pizza Place chain. Original engineer [Aaron Fechter] and car salesman/choreographer [Chris Thrash] have started performing modern pop songs with the bands and have a page where you can bid on new songs to perform. This feels like Billy Bass hacking on a much larger scale. The original machines were controlled by a four track reel, but now they’re using a hard disk recorder. The trailer above is worth watching just for the rows of partially assembled bears performing on the factory floor.

[via Waxy]

Animatronic stuffed animals stripped bare


For those who have ever wondered what Chicken-Dancing Elmo’s mechanical parts look like without the fur and the chicken costume (and who among us hasn’t?), [Matt Kirkland] posted the photos above, along with several other animatronic, walking, talking and other mechanical stuffed toys stripped of all their fur and stuffing. These before and after shots were ostensibly taken for unspecified “research purposes,” but if you ask us, any research that takes a knife to Elmo is the most valid kind.

[via Kottke]

Twittering teddy bear

This may be the deathblow that kills Nabaztag: using text-to-speech software, this animatronic bear speaks a Twitter stream aloud and in real time.

The gurus at My Home 2.0 made the bear talk by replacing its integrated circuit board with an Arduino loaded with custom software. A Bluetooth audio adapter was added as a channel for the bear’s voice, and a circuit with an H bridge chip was added to address power issues. The Arduino translates the income audio signal into movement. From there the process moved to the computer that feeds the bear audio data, they parse the Twitter stream and use OSX’s built in “say” command to generate the voice stream that’s sent to the bear via Bluetooth.