Animatronic Mask With Moving Eyes

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Introduction: Animatronic Mask With Moving Eyes

Hi there!

For a school assignment we had to discover Arduino. So I decided to make an animatronic mask. It is more like a wall decoration. The whole function of it is to make people slightly uneasy, since the eyes will be moving. It is inspired by the doorknockers from the wonderful film Labyrinth by Jim Henson. So here is an instructable of how I made this charming troll. I hope you like it!

I begin with the Eye Mechanic and later I explain how I made the Mask.

Step 1: Checklist:

You will need:

- Arduino UNO

- Breadboard

- 1 Servo

- 2 Servo arms

- Rotation Sensor

- Mechanic Wires

- Small Screwdriver

- Multiplex Wood (or somethinf else to attach the eyes to)

- Ping pong balls

- Thin wire (hobby wire)

-Thick wire

- Clay

- Strong glue

- A bottle of Liquid Latex

- Acrylic paint (I used black, blue, yellow and gold, bronze and silver metallics

- Plaster (1,5 kg or more)

- A base for the clay (a plastic tablemat will do fine )

- Skewers (or other little sticks)

- A wooden box to make a mold in

- Vaseline

- a Stanley

Step 2: Step 1: Ping Pong

Cut a quarter of two ping pong balls. So that you have to three quarter balls. Cut a small hole at the bottom.

Now fix one onto the Servo. It will look somewhat like this.

Step 3: Step 3: How to Attach the Eyes

First of all. It worked better for me to first make the mask. That makes measuring easier.

To attach the eyes to each other, I constructed a strong wire to go between the two eyes. With the thin thread you create the form. This wire is small enough to go through the holes in the Servo arms. Then with the thick wire you secure it. So you just stick that to the thin wire for support. You can stick it together with tape, that works fine.

I made a sketch of the form of what the wire should look like and how it is used in the mechanic.

Step 4: Step 4: Assemble It

So here we need a little plank of about 20cm x 10 cm. I used multiplex wood but you can use something else.

Stick the servo to the side of the plank and attach the second eye to the plank. You but the wire through the holes in the servo arms and bend them into a hook. This way they will be nice and tight.

The easiest way to get the wire between the eyes is, first to attach the wire to the servo eye. Then fix it to the other eye.

Step 5: Step 5: How to Wire It

I made a picture here of how I attached the Servo and the sensor to Arduino. The Servo get attached to the digital pins and the sensor to the analogue pins.

Step 6: Step 6: Code

The code is quite simple. So here it is:

#include <Servo.h>

Servo servo1;

void setup() {

servo1.attach(9);

Serial.begin(9600);

pinMode(A0, INPUT);

}

void loop() {

int value = analogRead(A0);

Serial.println(value);

int servoPos = map(value, 0, 1023, 0, 180);

servo1.write(servoPos);

delay(50);

}

Step 7: The Mask Step 1: Modeling

To start modeling it's good to have a tablemat, a bowl of water, some Skewers and something like a butter knife. The bowl of water is good to smoothen your sculpt. Here you can go loose :)

I made a troll because they look fun and they don't have to be symmetrical.

Step 8: Step 2: Making the Mold and Cleaning It

When the sculpt is done you can start on the mold. This means getting the plaster to become liquid with the instructions on the package and then pour it into a solid box. Then put the sculpt face foreward into the plaster. Let it sit and dry for a few hours.

When the mold is dry you can clean the clay out. You can use the skewers for the tough spots. It's okay if the colour of the clay stains the plaster a little. That's normal.

Step 9: Step 3: Pouring the Mask

When the mold is cleaned out you rub it in Vaseline so the latex won't stick to it. Then you pour a little layer of liquid latex in the mold. You can spread it out through the mold. Make sure you don't use to much, then it won't dry.

And then you end up with something like this!

Step 10: Step 4: Start Paint

You start with basing it out with black paint. Then when that is dry you can mix the gold and bronze paint and dry brush it on the mask. So you make sure you don't have water on your brush and you don't take a lot of paint on one brush. Then you get a very nice effect.

Step 11: Step 5: Adding Some Age

To add some extra charme to it you can make it seem a little rusted and old. I went for the rich blue-green copper rust colour. So I mixed Blue, a little yellow and silver. The silver gives it a nice shine. If it is to bright, add some blue or black.

Think logical in where you put the rust. Where would the water remain? Mostly cracks and lower parts of the volumes. You can also disguise flawes with this technique.

If they look a little too much like stains you can softly go over it with gold, to make it blend better.

Step 12: Step 6: Assemble With Background

Now assemble everyting together and bam!

For the background I used the top of a box and I made holes for the eyes to come through.

Step 13: The End Result

Thank you for reading and watching! I had a lot of fun doing this project! And a bit of advice it works better if you use to servos which work on their own. This is more solid. I only had one servo however. So that's why I took this route

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    4 Comments

    brilliant use of electronics, my kids will love doing this. thanks

    1 reply

    thank you! it's great to hear this!

    Thank you so much!