There are few gifts as synonymous with Valentine's Day as the stuffed bear (often bearing chocolates). I decided to come up with something a bit different this valentine's day and after having made an LED heart last year I decided to try to create a Cylon Teddy bear complete with catch phrase ("By your command.") and glowing red LED eye scanner.
a) Teddy Bear - The most important thing to keep in mind is that your bear should be big enough that the LED's fit reasonably well in it's head. I bought one bear online and it turned out to be too small for this version of the LEDs
b) Scanning LEDs - There are several online kits available with the necessary LEDs, resistors, etc... to make your own scanning LED array. I used the one from Thinkgeek, but I also picked up a smaller version that I may use in teddy bear Mark II.
c) Blaster Gun - Not a big deal, but once I had a bear I was able to pick out a gun that looked about the right size for him. Cylons are often shown with blasters so I didn't want Mark I to feel left out.
d) Audio - To get the signature "By Your Command" catch phrase I picked up a few different versions of your stock greeting card/toy voice recorder gadgets. I had planned to use one type and set the button in his paw, but I ended up decided to use the small white hockey puck version pictured below and actuating it by squeezing his nose (it just seemed cuter that way).
You'll also need fabric glue, a zipper, wire, electrical tape and heat shrink tubing.
Oh, and I also used an on/off push button and a momentary on/off push button to control on/off and the speed of the LEDs (the kit I used has 3 speeds controlled by a momentary on/off button that triggers the speed change)
I ended up extending the LEDs by using 5-6 inches of wire and soldering the LEDs to that and the wire to the circuit board. If I had to do this again I would have only made sure to use a bigger piece of plastic to mount the LEDs to.
Here is the finished product with a video of it in action. Cylon bear guts! :-)
Note that I'm using the Radio Shack voice recorder module instead of the hockey puck in the video (both are visible though). For a while I thought it would work better than the hockey puck but it proved to be too delicate to be crammed into the bear and the hockey puck recorder worked much better in the actual bear.
Oddly enough this was the most nerve wracking part of the project for me. I don't do fabric stuff much so I really had not clue how well this was or wasn't going to work.
I felt for the seam in the back of his head and cut a slit big enough so I could empty all the stuffing out and put the scanner array in (so it was useful to have built it ahead of time so I could see how big the hole would need to be)
I didn't get a great picture of this step because I kept fiddling with it, but basically I cut out the original eyes and cut a horizontal slit in the head about the length of the scanner. It was a little bit more lopsided than I would have liked, but I think with a little practice I could get it just right.
I also considered removing his snout and gluing in a cylon grill, but I decided that might make him too un-cuddly. I saved some bits of fabric to use for filler material around the eyes and elsewhere as needed because my cuts weren't quite perfect.
Another vaguely tricky part was stuffing everything back into the head without damaging any of the wiring. I also had to fish the battery pack out from the front of the head so that I could locate it closer to the zipper. Eventually this should be a good place so that batteries can be replaced easily enough.