Predator suit for Monsterpalooza includes over-engineered shoulder cannon

off-the-hook-predator-suit

This Predator suit was premiered at this year’s Monsterpalooza conference. It’s nothing short of incredible. But the shoulder cannon is really what caught our attention. The thing is fully motorized and includes sound and light firing effects.

We saw a glimpse of what [Jerome Kelty] is capable of about two years ago. He was showing off an Arduino-based animatronics platform he put together for a Predator shoulder cannon that tracked based on where the predator’s helmet was pointing. But other than a video demonstration there wasn’t much info on the that actual build. This post makes up for that and then some.

A replica of this quality is rarely the work of just one person. A team of fans joined in to make it happen. After getting the molded parts for the backpack and canon from another team member [Jerome] set out to fit the support structure, motors, and control electronics into the space available. That meant a ton of milling, cutting, and shaping parts like the support arm seen above which integrates a servo motor into its rectangular outline. All of the controls fit in the backpack, with cables running to the helmet, as well as the cannon.

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Moostar — fortune telling moose knock-off of Zoltar

zoltare-the-fortune-telling-moose

Meet Moostar, the fortune-telling Moose inspired by Zoltar. You remember Zoltar, the coin operated fortune-teller who made [Tom Hanks] a rich movie star? Maybe you didn’t see that flick, but [Sketchsk3tch] did and he pulled this show piece together for a company-wide conference with relative ease.

If you’re good at choosing parts for your projects it makes things a lot simpler. He started with a singing Christmas moose, a mini plasma ball to act as the crystal ball, and somehow came across a collector’s basketball case which was the perfect size for the enclosure.

The electronics also came together remarkably well. He uses a thermal printer to spit out the fortunes — which are actually security tips for employees since that’s the dcpartment he works in. The coin acceptor is a Sparkfun part and he tried two ready made solutions to make the moose talk. The first is seen below and uses pre-recorded messages played by an Arduino Wave shield. This was improved upon by using an EMIC2 text-to-speech module that really opens up the moose’s range of chatter.

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Pixar-style lamp project is a huge animatronics win

pixar-lamp-animated-procedurally

Even with the added hardware that lamp still looks relatively normal. But its behavior is more than remarkable. The lamp interacts with people in an incredibly lifelike way. This is of course inspired by the lamp from Pixar’s Luxo Jr. short film. But there’s a little bit of most useless machine added just for fun. If you try to shut it off the lamp shade is used to flip that switch on the base back on.

[Shanshan Zhou], [Adam Ben-Dror], and [Joss Doggett] developed the little robot as a class project at the Victoria University of Wellington. It uses six servo motors driven by an Arduino to give the inanimate object the ability to move as if it’s alive. There is no light in the lamp as the bulb has been replaced by a webcam. The image is monitored using OpenCV to include face tracking as one of the behaviors. All of the animations are procedural, making use of Processing to convey movement instructions to the Arduino board.

Do not miss seeing the video embedded after the break.

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Making your anime papercraft move to the music

This anime character is dancing to the music thanks to some animatronic tricks which [Scott Harden] put together. She dances perfectly, exhibiting different arm and head movements at just the right time. The secret to the synchronization is actually in the right channel of the audio being played.

The character in question is from an Internet meme called the Leekspin song. [Scott] reproduced it on some foam board, adding a servo to one arm to do the leek spinning, and another to move the head. These are both driven by an ATtiny44. All of the movements have been preprogrammed to go along with the audio track. But he needed a way to synchronize the beginning of each action set. The solution was to re-encode the audio with one track devoted to a set of sine wave pulses. The right audio channel feeds to the AVR chip via an LM741 opamp. Each sine wave triggers the AVR to execute the next dance move in the sequence. You can see the demo video for the project after the break.

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InMoov: a 3d printed animatronic hand you can download

[Hairygael] has been hard at work designing and building this robot structure that can be completely 3d printed. He’s admittedly not a big electronics person, so most of his focus has been on the design and construction of the bot frame. So far, he as a fully 3d printable (and available for download) hand that you can see in action after the break. Once printed, you’ll have to drill it for your own servos and add your own control system.

You can see the action is quite nice and sturdy in the video. [Hairygael] laments his lack of electronics knowledge when you see him hit roadblocks like multiple finger control. But, just as he points out in the video, we’re positive that some of you who are more familiar with that end of things will undoubtedly make this work well.

[via HackedGadgets]

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This animatronic Horus Guard mask is so good, even Anubis would be fooled

horus-guard-mask

[Jerome Kelty] is a big fan of the movie Stargate, and when he saw it for the first time, he wanted one of the awesome helmets worn by the Horus Guards. This isn’t the kind of thing you would normally find at your local costume shop, so he knew that he would have to build one of his own. After rejecting multiple designs over the years, he finally came up with a solution that he thought would work well.

His Horus Guard helmet was constructed primarily out of cardstock, papier-mâché, spray foam, and spackle. Don’t let that list of materials give you the wrong idea about this helmet however – it looks absolutely amazing!

Not only does it look good, but it moves just like the guard’s helmets in the movie too. To control the helmet’s movements [Jerome] used an Arduino animatronics setup he designed, which we’ve seen before in his slick Predator build from last year. The Arduino controls a set of 5 servos, which are tasked with turning the helmet’s head and actuating the fans mounted on either side.

Stick around to see a short video of the mask in action, and if you’re thinking of building one yourself, be sure to check out his writeup for a very thorough BoM.

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Basic Animatronics Continued: Servo Actuated Mouth

[Chris] is at it again and this time he has put together a tutorial rounding off his animatronic face by actuating the mouth. His tutorial covers two different styles of robot mouth: an LCD mouth which dims to imply actuation and a servo articulated flap.

[Chris] covers all the aspects of each mouth type, from the basics of human mouth actuation to servo motor control. In this case the LCD mouth is not quite as impressive so it gets installed on a face mock up while the servo mouth goes on the face previously featured in his other tutorials. The entire setup is still controlled using a single PIC 18F452. The circuit diagrams and code for both types of mouth are all available on the site including videos of the actuated mouth and a gif of the LCD mouth in action.

Check out a video of the articulated mouth below throwing down some classic season 6 Jean-Luc. If you are interested in the other parts of the face we have covered [Chris]‘s other tutorials on the eyebrows and the eyeballs. These are a great jumping point for your own animatronic face project and do a great  job of setting up all the know how you’d need to build your own emotional puppet.

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