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Animatronics

One really interesting thing about robotics is to watch persons interact with the robot… but for this, having anthropomorphic qualities is essential. Animatronics is the engineering and art of robotic animation, and has been used for years in the movie industry. The project that we’re embarking on this year is an animatronic creature. Since we aren’t experts, and since we ant to go much further than mere puppetry, i’m anticipating this will be a series of integrated projects that will eventually fit together into one system. Please let me know if you are interested in helping out!

I just finished the Coursera course on Machine Learning. Hopefully, some of the concepts will come in handy for teaching the robot how to behave, and to help learn its behaviour. It’s a great course!

Concept

The goal is to create a robot that will interact with one or two humans for entertainment. It will be a creepy creature. The alien appearance and remotely anthropomorphic interactions will hopefully amplify the creepiness. Depending on what we manage to accomplish, it may act like a simple pet or be capable of very simple language. It will sit at a table, thus eliminating problems of power, stability, locomotion, and navigation. It will help to constrain its domain of interactions.

Eyes

There is also an intro video from the Stan Winston School for Character Arts: how to make an eye mechanism. I haven’t seen the full video yet…

The pair of eyes will be about 2x he size of human eyes: 50mm. These will be 3D printed, and contain about 12 motors and 2-3 cameras.

Tentacles

The tentacles will hopefully each be about the length of an arm, and each controlled by 4 servos. It isn’t clear at the moment whether a heavy grade hobby servo will do, or whether we’d want to make out own servo controllers. Each motor will be responsible forĀ  of 2 degrees of freedom in each of 2 tentacle sections.

There is a really cool set of posts on Hackaday:

  1. Bootup guide
  2. Cable controller
  3. Putting it all together

There is also an intro video from the Stan Winston School for Character Arts: cable basics. I haven’t seen the full video yet…

Posted in Make, Robotics.

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