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3 axis skull. First attempt at Servo Dog


Eric Roberts
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Not so much a display, but part of a haunt.

This guy is my first attempt at the Servo Dog... also the first attempt at building a 3 axis skull.... man would I do things differently!

The soundtrack is kind of a place holder as we write an original script.

 

P.S. skip to 0:38 if you want to skip the intro soundtrack.

 

 

http://youtu.be/aMcYsWklQhY

 

Fun project - surprisingly easy to program the puppet animation.

Edited by Eric Roberts
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Very cool Eric.    Definitely love the RGB eyes in the skull.  Wish I could still build and construct things, but no longer able to do that.  Do they happen to sell those skulls already pre-assembled and tested?    

 

Would love to have 1 or 2, maybe more {depending on their cost} for putting in my windows for an attention grabber.  

 

And if they do sell them assembled and ready to go, is there a website for them somewhere?

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Well darn, I had a long write up done a few days ago and it seems I didn't hit post before shutting down the computer.

Thank you for the compliments! As I figured that this project wouldn't actually work, I didn't bother with a how-to. I can do a behind the scenes tour after Halloween.

This guy is not a kit! Definitely not a Skulltronix head. This skull is about the size of a child's. It's a prop I've had for 11 years or so. It had a simple and unreliable mouth movement that could use a line in or a Mic input. No other movements.

This year I decided to breathe new life (or new death?) Into this guy.

I watched vids online but didn't like the nod movement that much.... And I definitely did not have room in the head for all the servos. The nod and roll movements are shared by 2 servos mounted on his neck. Thr linkage is in a "V" configuration....think Johnny 5 from Short circuit.

The eyes are plastic eyes I got from eBay. Search for "Lifesize Pair Eyes Eye Balls Brown Mannequin Halloween Prop" and these are the eyes I used. The LEDs are from Radio Shack, part #276-0028.

I drilled a hole in the back of the eyes and popped out the iris, scraped off the brown paint and reassembled. Then uncerimoniously shoved the LEDs in the back of the eyes.

I am flattered you think its from Skulltronix.

The audio is a Skulltronix routine, but there will be 3 skits this guy will do in rotation as I get a lot of repeats, this offers a chance for a different show.

I will try to get some pics up soon,

Thank you all for reading!

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That is very impressive dude! I definitely thought it was a Skulltronix but the fact that you were able to recreate it at ( I'd Say ) 1/4 the cost is awesome! Can't wait to see him in action this Halloween. The great thing about animatronics is they always show up for work on time and they never get stage fright ; )

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  • 4 months later...

I gota say, simply AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Would love to see a how to, or behind the scenes about it, even a DIY.

 

Are you using a servo-dog to control it ?

 

Greg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great work Eric! I have read a lot on the three axis skull and yours is amazing. My question is what is your setup like when your recording? Is it Servo connects to servo dog which is connected to power supply, then when recording you are using brookshire vsa and monkey basics? you don't have to use an sd card if your syncing to music? Any info you have would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Wow Dude what a great job! I am not into the Halloween stuff yet  but going to be working on a show for this year coming up I hope. I want to put fire cannons into pumpkins and sequence them to some music. Keep up the Great work! 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I apologize for the delay in posting. Right after Halloween, I decided to try my hand at a Christmas display - whew! talk about time crunch!

 

A bit about Phil (The puppet took on the name Phil after the Fill command  - the most frequently used command for programming him).

 

It was difficult to film in such low lighting, but his eyes now have 2 axis of movement.

 

I didn't come up with a truly original script as I had hoped.  I had to work out some bugs in the SD card/mini-director and ran out of time.  We did manage to get a second show put together by editing the ride audio from Haunted Mansion.

 

The Séance audio was actually a track from Skultronix - since that was the first one I saw, that is the one I taught myself to sequence to.

 

As far as the movement, it is 100% hand programmed.  Since I don't have a traditional 3-axis setup, I doubt any of the mimic software would work for me. For example, in order for Phil to look down, his left neck motor has to rotate counter-clockwise while at the same time his right neck motor has to rotate clockwise.  If they do not synchronize perfectly you get a slight tilt to one side or the other.... which is good!  it give a rather organic feel I think.

 

My background?  I have a degree in engineering electronics, but the day I started to get paid to work on such projects was the day all the fun got sucked out of it. LOL. Now I just tinker for my own enjoyment.  Since I also build and automate model coasters, this project was not too bad of a leap. 

 

I will probably do a behind the scenes of Phil - a video disassembly of his head.

 

Also - I am open to any ideas of how to further use Phil in my haunt... I am handy at building, but tend to hit a wall when trying to create a story or scene.

 

Ok, I've talked enough, here are the 2 show that were used on Halloween:

Feel free to look at my other vids as I am slowly posting the Christmas display too.

 

GHOST HOST:

http://youtu.be/URBgJeLaqKQ

 

SEANCE:

http://youtu.be/0xU4vE5alVY

 

 

***For the life of me I cannot remember how I embedded the first video***

Edited by Eric Roberts
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Awesome job! I've been wanting to make one of these for a long time now, but haven't had the time. Would you be willing to post a tutorial of how you made this?

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A behind the scenes vid has been made, my friend is editing it down now. It will be posted soon and I'll link it here.

I know the video is not terribly complete, and I'd be happy to answer any questions and take more pics if needed.

Thank you all for the compliments on this project!

Some comments have been very humbling and has motivated me to improve on this puppet... I think arm movement may be next.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry it took so long... my friend had fun editing this together.

Possibly at my expense... but he got all the info I wanted in there - and it made me laugh..

Its not a full How-To, but I hope it answers some of the questions.

http://youtu.be/Wg8L5Bx7Oo0

Edited by Eric Roberts
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