Decorating An Ent For Christmas

These images may look the same, but if you peer closely at the one on the left you’ll notice the eyes staring back at you. It seems animatronic decor is in this year, and we think [Fjord Carver’s] talking Christmas tree is one of the better offerings.

He picked up the diminutive tree at the dollar store, then started added the pieces that put on the show seen after the break. A small strand of battery operated lights, and a bit of garland are traditional. But the Arduino and pair of servo motors are a new holiday tradition. They move parts of the tree to reveal a set of eyes and animate a mouth. He drives the display by sending serial commands from a computer to the Arduino. This way you can script your performances, with flapping jaw, moving eyelids, and blinking lights while the computer supplies the sound.

Is it just us, or does anyone else really want to see this guy singing the Chipmunk’s Christmas Song? Or if that’s a bit too wholesome you could go the more vulgar route.


8 thoughts on “Decorating An Ent For Christmas

  1. You forgot to mention that the speech is being generated(via free tts) and is not pre-recorded.
    It’d be a snap to have him read a feed, or tell some jokes from some text files(I linked to a video of a speech recognition version using a skull as the avatar, last step of the ‘ible)
    Having him sing the chipmunks would be easy using the minim library, but singing is harder to pull off using text to speech.
    Cheers! (P.S. Thanks for the great write ups)

    1. An Ent is pretty much a walking, talking tree from J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. They made an excellent job of it in the movie. It did sing a little (in the book anyway) but not the chipmunk song.

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