Motion Tracking Face Really Does Follow You Around The Room

Many of us have had the experience of viewing an artwork in a gallery, in which the eyes appear to follow one around the room. In our high-technology work, this no longer need be achieved with artistic skill. You can just build something that actually moves instead.

Chartreuse is the creation of [alynton], and has a personality all its own. A face was created out of laser cut wood, and assembled layer by layer. It was then given glowing LED eyes, and mounted on a rotating plate. Combined with an Arduino and an ultrasonic sensor, it’s capable of tracking targets moving within its field of view, and rotating to follow them. Chartreuse’s expression changes as well, with from happy to forlorn, depending on the situation.

It’s a great example of the artistic results that can be achieved by layering lasercut materials, as well as how art can be brought to life with simple maker staples like servos and microcontrollers. Motion tracking has plenty of useful applications, too – like aiming heat directly at cold humans. Video after the break.

15 thoughts on “Motion Tracking Face Really Does Follow You Around The Room

  1. “with simple maker staples like servos and microcontrollers.”

    Wow! I’d never thought of using servos or microcontrollers to staple things together!
    But I have been poked by the pins of PTH devices, as I have been by staples.

      1. Since some peoples tend to forget that english is not everybody’s first language, here’s a non-condescending reply that could have been used instead of the previous snarky reply:

        The word staple can have different meaning depending of the context. In this case, it was being used to indicate that servos and microcontroller are something that have widespread and constant use or appeal for maker and hobbyist.

        Then again, there is also as much chance that It might have been a simple joke Ren was making.

  2. hmmm… motion tracking isn’t something new (okay you might have seen this comment coming), but you don’t need any electronics at all. Although having some might improve accuracy.

    May I remind you all of the 18th century, spring-guns. These were often used to protect graveyards, because in that time grave robbers were robbing graves. The stole the “fresh” body and sold it to scientists who dissected the bodies in order to gain medical knowledge. It was of course highly illegal, but the scientists didn’t ask too many questions. The problem was that the scientists paid the robber a hefty sum of money, so it was quite profitable to snatch a corps.
    The spring-gun was placed in the proximity of the “fresh” grave. 3 or more trip wires were spun and in the dark these were difficult to spot. The robber would trip over the wire, thereby pulling on it, this allowed the gun to turn in the direction of the wire that was pulled and activating the trigger. Allowing for the explosion and hot metal to spray in the direction of the robber.

    These guns were expensive but could be rented for a small amount of money. You didn’t need it too long, because after some time the grave was no longer interesting for the robbers.

    I learned about it quite recently and find the concept fascinating and VERY dangerous as it is cannot determine the difference between friend or foe. Which brings us back to this project, which also cannot determine WHO is walking past it. Fortunately (although slightly scary if you think of it) the ESP32CAM module CAN detect faces, so when I noticed this project I immediately thought of that, so I was fun to see that it used something completely different.

  3. I like this.
    A couple of years ago I built a “scare crow” for a local agricultural show. It was going to have ultrasonic tracking but that part did not get done. But what was done was the eyes. Have a look at …
    Mine used a blank white female face mask, dragon eyes and then parts added to make it a Medusa.
    It looked satisfactorily creepy.
    This post above has made me want to revisit the project. The Teensy can take inputs to move the eyes. Mine was just random.

    1. That’s the same reason I clicked through this story. I have the same eyes, although my case is for Halloween (Yes I know it’s June, don’t judge me!) and want to add in eye tracking.
      I started with a number of light sensors (cds cells) with directional cones on them, arranged around a half circle band. But getting the thresholds how I want has not worked out too well.
      I’m hoping the ultrasonic sensors will be a bit less noisy in their signals.
      Feels a bit overkill to go full on opengl face tracking and cameras (but I’ll do it if threatened or cornered!)

  4. When I was a child, my aunt had one of those Jesus busts that had concave eyes that made it appear as though they were looking at you, no matter what angle you were viewing from. Freaked me out… as a child.

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