Giving Life To An Undead Baby Doll

If carving a pumpkin this month is too passé for you, take a shot at [Jason Suter’s] instructable and build an animatronic legless zombie child that will surely creep out anyone who has a fear of dolls or other vacant-faced toy babies.

Beginning with a sacrificial doll, [Jason] dismembers all of the limbs and head from the torso in order to make room for the robotic upgrades. The servo motors which animate the new wooden dowel bones are mounted to a chassis cut with a CNC machine. [Jason’s] instructions include some nice diagrams demonstrating how the points of articulation at the shoulders and elbows work in conjunction to produce different flavors of crawling and dragging.


To top it off, the head is attached to its own mounting plate with tendons that rock back and forth in a miserable undead sort-of fashion. As an added nicety, he explains how to install a bluetooth module into the circuitry so he can tweak and upload his example code to the Arduino brain remotely without needing to get his hands near it. There is of course some additional melting, painting, and doll torture required to achieve that rough-up undead look… but that’s all just icing on top of a well executed piece of animatronics.

In his video [Jason] gives us an overview of his zombie’s build and also shows it in action:

3 thoughts on “Giving Life To An Undead Baby Doll

  1. Very nice!
    Suggestions. Blood & guts on the hair since we don’t see the zombie face when it draging itself along.
    Moaning, gargling zombie sounds timed with the servos to hide those servo sounds somewhat.

    1. Thanks! I agree that it looks a bit bleh from the top, more hair mess is a good idea, all that work I put into the face is hidden 90% of the time. I should probably have given the neck even more tilt. At the moment the shoulder servo’s center point is horizontal, which was dumb, if I biased them downwards a bit I would be able to make it rear up higher and probably crawl better, but my enthusiasm for taking the whole assembly apart again is low at this juncture.

      I actually have a little MP3/WAV module on the way from DX, will have to see if it arrives before I build a new robot more deserving of a voice ( ttp:// )

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