Darth Vader Magic 8 Ball

Imagine that your wife likes Darth Vader and wants help making important life choices. (Who doesn’t?) [bithead942] solves both problems in one project by gutting a Lego clock and making a talking animatronic Darth Vader 8-Ball-style oracle. Now his wife can simply press Darth’s head and her decision-making is handled by the Dark Side of the Force.

You can see the result in the video below the break.

The internals consist mainly of an Arduino Nano, a WTV020SD WAV playback chip, and some swanky servos. [bithead942] took a Dremel to the existing clock interior and found a way to make it all fit. The cloak helped, and the speaker was a good fit for the previous clock’s display.

Then he used IMDB and combed through the Star Wars movies to find Darth Vader quotes that kinda sound like the 8-Ball’s answers. As [bithead942] mentions Darth Vader doesn’t really dwell much on the positive, so finding instances where he says “yes” was hard work. This is in contrast to the original 8 Ball which has a brighter outlook than a cheerleader on Prozac, but there’s a reason they call it the Dark Side.

We really like the way the waist and arm servos work together to bring Darth to life. The added oak base with pull-out instruction card not only makes Darth look fancy, but prevents him from falling over when he leans forward to talk. All in all, a really nice build and well written-up with difficulties and their solutions.

4 thoughts on “Darth Vader Magic 8 Ball

  1. Pressing him on the head to get his response looks a bit undignified, second only to poking him in the tummy like the Pillsbury doughboy. (c: May be a light/laser sensor?

    It’s a good build. Just the other day I made a suggestion to somebody to hack one of those Staples easy buttons to spit out random non-committal phrases and see how long he can keep up an IM with an unsuspecting person just by pressing the button.

    P.S.: I wouldn’t call the “unsheathing” sound of a lightsaber a neutral response. On the contrary, I’d find it highly negative. Very negative. It’s the kind of a response that makes me say, “Oh sh*t. I’ve seen the movies. This never ends in a good way.” (c:

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