Mechanical Xeyes

This project, courtesy of [fbz] brings back memories. Xeyes is one of those classic apps – handy for testing out connections and great for screwing with new people who had wide open servers. [Zn000h] built this set of mechanical Xeyes – instead of following a mouse, it samples video and follows the highest contrasting moving object around. (See the description for more on the video filter) The data is passed on via USB to a set of ATTINY controlled servo operated eyes. Just in case the server can’t handle the load, you can find pictures of the setup here.

13 thoughts on “Mechanical Xeyes

  1. This is one of the cooler things I’ve seen on hackaday in quite a while.

    I like the fact he’s doing the video processing with mplayer instead of some VB application, I hope he posts the source for his filter soon.

  2. I read the entire article but still can’t seem to understand what you mean by “handy for testing out connections and great for screwing with new people who had wide open servers.” Could someone please clear that up for me?

    “2. This is one of the cooler things I’ve seen on hackaday in quite a while.” -AGREED!

  3. #3+#4 “handy for testing out connections” he’s referring to the inherent remote nature of xwindows, which is designed from the ground up to run over a network. if you had a remote session and wanted to test the connection, you could load up xeyes and move your mouse around. if the eyes follow the cursor smoothly and with no lag, you have a good connection; if the motion is jerky and takes a while for the eyes to “see” your cursor, the connection is not so great. and of course if someone left their server wide open, you can easily push an app onto their screen. kind of a “hello, you’re owned” deal.

  4. Now thats just freaking awesome! Simple, yet testing very high on the cool-ability meter….hacks like this are excellent coated excellence with excellent filling!

    I knew i had faith in HAD for good reason…..thanks Will! keep it up, bud.

  5. Agreed- is a really sweet hack. I never knew about Xeyes though until now…

    Forgive my novice understanding, but would it be possible to add a third eye for triangulation purposes? I’m thinking, use this setup to control 3 devices, such as lasers instead of eyes, to triangulate a moving object in real time somehow using movement vectors. Does anyone think this could be done somehow, by combining movement vectors with distance vectors, ie: something moving closer or farther from the sight camera?

    Just the ramblings of a madman, maybe…

  6. >
    The eyes are not used for any kind of input at all. They are just rotating cardboard pieces used as output. For input he uses a camera, i.e. 2D input. To get 3d information you’d have to either use a distance sensor (e.g. the ever popular laser scanners) or guesstimate distance based on size of the object in the camera image and a reference size.

  7. [. Xeyes is an old x windows application that drew a pair of eyes that followed your mouse around. See the wikipedia article.]

    Not just xwindows had or has xeyes. FVWM has it aswell, which i use alot on my SuSE 9.2

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