The Animatronics:

 

{Click on any image to see full sized}

kservo1.jpg (57126 bytes)

Not much done in this area yet as I'm waiting on the computer to control everything first, here you see the eye blink servo's, using two Cirrus cs21 sub micro servo's. Not that their placed in a mirrored pattern to eliminate the need for a mirroring mechanism to get the servo's to work together from a single signal.

Kanim1.jpg (57013 bytes)

Here you see the servo (Cirrus cs30) and linkage for the smile effect, the linkage runs down along the sides of the cheeks which lifts the corner of the mouth about 3/4 inch. You can see the linkage for the mouth mech as well just below the smile linkage.

Also seen here is the blower fan I ended up using for the front fan.

kanim2.jpg (51521 bytes)

The eyebrow mech, using a Cirrus cs26 servo directly connected to a piece of coat hanger I bent to work both eyebrows with one servo. With this setup and the room I had available the eyebrows move around 1/2 inch total. Also seen just below is the jaw servo, using a Cirrus cs80 high torque servo, it has plenty of power to move the lower jaw with ease.

kanim4.jpg (58580 bytes)

Here you see the heart of the whole thing, Using a Stamp2 (for more info check out the Parallex page )as the "brains" of the mask. Stamps are really amassing little devices, it's a whole computer in a single chip, complete with eeprom to store a program you write yourself (uses a form of basic), in my application it reads all the switches used to control the effects, and controls the random eye blinks and ear movements, as well as processing the information from the jaw tracker and sending the right info to the jaw servo.

kanim3.jpg (61871 bytes)

Here you see the power block just above the 6v battery connector, this is split into two voltages, 6v and 14.4v and is where all the electronics get their power. to the right, just above the rear fan is the servo controller (mini ssc kit available at Scott Edwards Electronics), this is the device which receives the signals from the Stamp and tells the servo's how far to open or close, it can control up to 8 servo's and uses only one output line from the Stamp.

kanim5.jpg (59397 bytes)

For the jaw tracker mech I used a 10k slide pot mounted to the inside of the mask, connected to the pot is Gold-n-Rod which is used mostly for RC plane and cars, to the other end of the rod is the piece that goes under my chin, all in all it works great, though is a little uncomfortable.

kanim6s.jpg (6394 bytes)

Just to the left of my hand is the workings of the smile effect. The servo in the middle of the muzzle pulls and pushes the control wire which is attached to the very bottom of the mesh piece, that in turn is attached by a corner hole to the mask itself, giving it a point to pivot from. Once everything was lined up I attached the fur to the smile mech. It tool me a while to figure out the fold in the cheek, a stitch here, and a stitch there made for a decent effect.

kanim7s.jpg (6627 bytes)kanim11s.jpg (16215 bytes)kanim12s.jpg (14181 bytes)

Last, but not least I worked out the ear mechs. rather simple in design their just two wires bent to fit the shape of the ears, attached to the top of the mask with two Teflon hinges. One end attaches to the servo motor itself and to the other is a spring. The spring allows for the ear to bend properly when it's brought back. Another spring in the inner spine of the ear completed the effect.

kanim8s.jpg (14571 bytes)kanim9s.jpg (14536 bytes)kanim10s.jpg (16715 bytes)

After the hands were finished I began work on the control system for the animatronics. Starting with BBW v2 I had been wracking my brain in an attempt to figure out a good control system, one where I could use my hands for normal activities and not have the effects being set off. After much consideration I hit on the idea to use Magnetic Reed Switches. The switches, once the wires were soldered in place and shrink wrap tube on nice and snug were sewn into the top side of the fingertips. In the thumb was placed a small button magnet. To set off an effect all one needs to do is place one's thumb over the desired finger and the effect would activate. Sewn into the arms a set of wires ran up to a connector in the neck where it would plug into the mask. The whole thing works too good, I was very pleased with the results.

 

The Power System:

 

To power everything I decided to go with Rechargeable NiCad's this time, I usually end up spending around $15 in batteries for each convention just to run the fans on BBW v2 and decided it'd be worth the extra cost to get rechargeable battery packs. I plan on equipping all my subsequent constructions to use these packs, so one set of battery packs will be able to power any costume.. (even ones that aren't my personal ones)

kpower1.jpg (50321 bytes)kpower2.jpg (47580 bytes)

Keesar uses two separate power systems. To power the fans and the animatronics computer there is a 14.4v circuit using two 7.2v 1700mah battery packs, in my tests this will run both fans for 6.5 hours before cutting out, once the computer's added I expect this to go down to 4 to 5 hours. To power the servo's which will work the mask effects I'm using two 6v 700mah used in Tyco R/C cars, wired in parallel to give me 1400mah which hopefully will power the servo's for quite a while. I have yet to test the system to see how long it'll last.

kpower3.jpg (52787 bytes)kpower4.jpg (53858 bytes)

The good thing about the R/C 6v batteries is that their rather inexpensive (around $25 with charger each) but they don't have any extruding power terminals, so I made my own holder for them using a piece of plastic cut to allow the battery to fit into it, the power terminals which make contact with the battery were made out of flat blade fuse holders available at Radio Shack, mounted to the holder by screws and bent to meet the contacts on the battery pack. The holders were mounted to the mask via long screws bolted to the mesh mask with washers on either side (needed as the mesh isn't _that_ strong).

 

 

Conceived and created by BigBadWolf
This page and it's images are Copyright 1998 The Company of Wolves. All rights reserved.