After reviewing and scouring the internet like most hackers I decided what I wanted wasn't documented well. So I set out to not only do the project for myself but to also try and get some sort of documentation.

For this project you will need:

Electronics side:
1 - Arduino board
1 - Breadboard (anysize)
2 - Servo's I used Futaba S3003

Hardware side:
1 - Set of eyes (ebay, I specifically looked for realistic acrylic doll eyes that had the cornea bump in them). 
1 - Set of RC Car half shafts
8 - EZ connectors*
4 - Servo horns (All of mine came with my servos)
Connecting rod (various sizes and thicknesses)
1 - Sheet of Plexiglass/Acryilic Sheet (I used this as my base. Only because I had it on hand.)
1 - 12" length of Aluminum Angle Bracket 

Assorted Extras:
Aluminium Shims fabricated on the spot from bar aluminum
Cotter pins
Threaded Rod (or a bolt with head cut off)
2 Part Epoxy

Hack Saw
Propane Torch

*NOTE: The EZ connector hole sizes are determined by the thickness of your connecting rod. I was lucky enough to have an RC Hobby store down the road so I purchased what was on clearance  If you buy the wrong size you could always attempt to drill a bigger hole in the EZ connector but it may be more of a pain.

Step 1: Hardware Setup

Unfortunately these eyes were a Halloween rush so I didn't document the build well. I will do my best to explain how I did everything.

For the first step start with a well drawn out plan. Keep it simple.  Servo 1 is for the X-Axis.  Servo 2 is for the Y-Axis (see picture).

"Keep it simple servo" - Christen Gundersen 

Next you will want to start marking out on the plexiglass, or piece of wood, etc where the servos will be and where the eye brackets will be.

Everything starts with a good plan!

My first cheap test using ping pong balls.

<p>This is fabulous! So when is that version 2.0 coming out? I hope you have time for it!</p>
<p>great project indeed especially ur explanation of each coding step.... can you suggest a code to make blinks and eye movement random to give it a more humane style ?</p>
<p>That was on my wishlist but I don't have the time at the moment to mess around. If you do figure something out put it on GitHub and share please!!</p>
What exactly are you using for the connector rods? When I look it up I get something entirely different then what you have. I'm assuming regular wire would work as well, I'm just curious what you are using.
<p>I am sure regular wire (strong enough gauge not to buckle) would be fine. I used RC rod if I remember correctly (like on model airplanes).</p>
Nice decision to use the half shafts. I was going to use a socket wrench U-joint, but it's overkill.. Cheap at Home Depot though! I want an LED in there though, so I'm going to give your idea a shot! I was hoping to find your version 2, but it looks like you changed your mind. Did you ever happen to come up with a better eye &quot;joint&quot; before you moved on?
mscott27,<br><br>Good idea with the LED's, should be a nice twist! I didn't ever come up with version 2, the eyes have been tucked away on the shelf and I always think to myself &quot;I should finish that&quot; but life....
This is a great tutorial..i wanted to ask in case i add eyelids..what steps can add to make a 3rd servo twitch the eyelid also in a random way..lets assume it<br>blinks once at random interval of 1 to 3 sec in which servo goes from angle 0 to 40 and back to 0 quickly..can you plz help on this ?
<p>I tried to cut the eyes with a saw blade like you said but the cut was very hard and messy and it ended up not cutting evenly, so I ruined the eyes I bought, could you please cut them for me and I'll pay for shipment? or atleast give a tip on the cutting part? its the only part Im stuck on, the eyes are too small to cut efficiently</p>
<p>Shoot me a PM!</p>
<p>Do I need to make any adjustments to the code?</p><p>I copy pasted the centering code you made into the 'setup code' part of my sketch and I got plenty of errors.</p><p>I'm using an arduino UNO which appears very similar to yours.</p>
I am using an UNO here as well. <br><br>The short answer, no you shouldn't have to IF you followed my wiring to a &quot;T&quot;.<br><br>To better help me assist can you post a clear picture of your wiring setup and the code your using?
<p>Here's the wiring setup and code I have</p>
<p>what tool did you use to cut the back half of the eye balls </p>
Hack saw blade, they have small sized ones at Lowes/Home Depot and maybe even Harbor Freight. Cuts the plastic nice and easily.<br><br>Lance
<p>Can I make this with Rasberry Pi?</p>
<p>I am sure you could but I am unsure what code changes will need to be done due to the libraries unless someone has figured that out already for you.</p>
<p>I was wondering what are the dimensions of the connecting rods? I am working on an engineering capstone project and like your model the best. With your permeation, I would like to use you as a professional contact for this project.</p>
<p>Just curious! What were the dimensions of the plexiglass platform and the connecting rods?</p>
<p>On step 6, what kind of resistors do you use? </p><p>Thanks</p>
Can your explain a bit about how you mounted the dummy horns to the plexiglass to allow for them to rotate freely?
<p>jedimasta I used model glue on them on! Really no rhyme or reason just that it was in arms reach. Honestly my thinking was that it (the glue) was made for plastic and since plexiglass was a type of plastic it should work. So far it has held up very nicely, even when I have applied a ton of stress on it.</p>
<p>But if you glued them, how do they rotate? Is there some sort of spacer (glue the spacer to the base, insert horn into spacer)?</p>
<p>Ah I see what you mean. The horn is simply held in place with a screw and under the horn (between the horn and plexiglass) is plastic washers.</p>
<p>gotcha. so the washers are glued down, the horn is screwed into the washers and that allows the horn to rotate freely. Makes sense. Thanks for clearing it up.</p>
<p>You have a link to the mask and fiberglass instructors you used?</p>
<p>rstackhouse I don't but I just looked up how to make a cheap/simple paper mache mold and used it to lay the fiberglass into. This worked very crudely but didn't come out very well. </p>
Good article, oh yes I plan to make a servo that moves in accordance with the lace high tone of voice, can you help me to make it? <br> <br>thx
thanks a lot and congrats !!, very good work man !!, very instructable really !!
Awesome job!
Like in those old haunted house movies, wait did those eyes just move????? <br> <br>PERFECT
Excellent Engineering!!! I like the music you chose for the videos. The music gives an eerie quality that makes you think the machines are about to become self-aware. Skynet might be closer than we think.
Great job - love the engineering! <br>have you considered using an EZB from Z robots to control the movement? Its a really great platform and all of the hard work of programing has been done already. You could easily add a camera for tracking and motion and it has a heap of other great options which would work really well with these eyes. <br>Here's the link: <br>http://www.ez-robot.com/ <br>
I checked it out. Pretty neat kits they have there but it seems you could save some serious cash by fabricating them yourself! I suppose if I was just starting out I would highly consider using their kits. <br> <br>I personally enjoy the fabrication and programming parts of these projects. The hardest parts have always been working on these things by myself can be tedious. <br> <br>
True - although at $65 for the board it's not too bad and all the tedious work is taken out.<br><br><br>Keep up the great work.
Beautiful job and very creepy effect! You want the point of rotation to be as close to the center of the eye as possible or the eyes will move the mask as they look left to right. <br> <br>(An alternate point of view if you are going for 'creepy' is that you want it to be close to human movements *but not too close* so that you hit the bottom of the 'uncanny valley' for maximum creepy effect.) <br> <br>For more realistic eyes you'll need at least three servos, one for up/down and one for left-right for each eye so it can look cross-eyed if needed. <br> <br>Would be neat to incorporate a Wii sensor so it can look at you and follow you as you move :-) <br> <br>Best Wishes
Thanks for the tips on the eye motion. What do you mean by the 'uncanny valley'? <br> <br>I plan on getting eyelids on next to mimic even more realism. <br> <br>I just told j1vvy that I plan on attempting to use the Raspberry Pi and OpenCV to track faces and/or movement.
Thank you so much for posting this! I've been looking for a decent animatronic eyes tutorial for months!
Very well done. Add two motion detectors, one on each side. Quickly move the side when motion detected. Slowly move around when no motion detected. If motion is detected on both then look straight ahead.<br> <br> Higher tech would be adding a camera and motion tracking.<br> <br> I was hoping to do just the side to side motion for last Halloween, but ran out of time. I was thinking it should be possible without an Arduino, but not sure how.
j1vvy, <br> <br>Great tip on the motion detectors idea. I have spent countless hours with no success at using Arduino + Processing and OpenCV mainly because I have zero time with Visual Basic and it appears that is a main component with the tutorials I have come across. <br> <br>My plan is to experiment with the Raspberry Pi for the task of facial/motion tracking.
Great job and neatly set out. Like you, when I wanted to do this, I couldn't find anything that did what I was trying. <br>For what it's worth, here's how I did it... <br>https://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-controlled-animatronic-wooden-head-readin/step8/Controlling-the-eyeballs-inside-the-head-with-the-/ <br> <br>My attempt was not as neatly constructed as yours - great Instructable
Rosemarybeetle, <br> <br>I like how you implemented bicycle cable for servo movement! Your facial structure is pretty neat too. Thanks for the kudos.

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Lance. I am in the Navy as an Electronics Tech and I do communications. I currently teach maintenance schools and am pursuing ... More »
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