Introduction: DIY Animatronic (Foxy From Five Nights at Freddy's)
"Hello, and welcome welcome to the Pirate's Cove" Have you ever seen a video game or TV character that made you just think "Oh man, I would love to meet them"? Well now you can with this Instructable! To give some background, I have been obsessed with the game Five Nights at Freddy's for a year or two. This previous Halloween I decided to dress up as the animatronic Foxy the Pirate Fox. Eventually after the holiday had past, I realized all my hard work and resources would go to waste again like last Halloween. So I decided to make this full sized animatronic on a mannequin! Throughout this Instructable I will be displaying how to generally build your own animatronic and even show a more specific route to make Foxy. So here goes, take your time for a great product and let me know if there are any questions at all. (Seriously, any questions AT ALL. This is my first time ever writing an Instructable so I will try to be as thorough as possible.)
Step 1: The Rundown
Ok, so the rundown will consist of the three main sections of Foxy split up into more manageable steps. Here are the sections:
- The heavy duty mannequin if you don't buy one
- The electronics to run your animatronic
- The skin you are making or using for your animatronic
Now here will be the sub-sections for each
1. Mannequin anatomy
- Removeable base and inner support
The General Electronics
3. The Skin (Specifically Foxy but these could be used as tips for your own animatronics)
- Old clothes to be used as an underskin
- Chest piece
- Arms and Legs
- Waist Cover
- Dressing the Mannequin
Step 2: The Tools and Materials
Keep in mind, some of these could be exchanged for other tools but these are the methods I used personally. Many can be bought from Radio Shack, Amazon, Ebay, or local sewing and craft stores
*This means it could be used a substituted or optional tool or material.
For the Skin
- Beadalon Wire (7 strand)
- Assorted Screws
- Hot glue
- A flower pot the size of your head
- Two large springs
- Foam Board
- A face shield headband *Coathangers
- Contact Cement
- Felt *Fabric *light metal
- Spray Adhesive *Or hot glue
- Sponges and Car sponges
- Ping Pong Balls
- News paper
- Velcro *Hot glue again
- *Sewing supplies
- 3D Printer access *Modeling clay
- A few other things if you opt for the tail (They will be with a link later on)
As a side note, hot glue can do a large portion of the project but will look worse in some places
- One Arduino Uno Board or equivalent
- One audio amplifier circuit (It could be bought or made, mine is a homemade LM386 chip amp)
- Real Wire (I used speaker wire for its 3 connections)
- Alligator clips/cables
- Circuitry components (Capacitors, jumper wires, bread board, stereo jack(s)
- A speaker 8-4 Ohms depending on your amp and how loud you want it.
- One high torque standard metal gear servo (tail)
- One plastic micro servo (jaw)
- Power adapter (Mine is a 12V at 1600mA for the servo motors. You also could run the entire circuit and amplifier with one power source as long as it has a high enough amperage, just be careful not to short the circuitry and yourself.
- Coat hangers (Most are made with steel which is what I used)
- 3D Printer access *Modeling clay *Epoxy
- 3D Filament *Flexible but stiff works best such as Micro 3D's Flex Filament. I used about half of the 1/2lb spool which is around $18
- Hot glue (Seriously it's the most used tool)
- Sturdy Pipe, fittings, and clamp
- Something to use as a base such as plywood
Many of these can be substituted or are just helpful
- The single most important tool will be a hot glue gun
- Your hands
- Electrical tape
- *Other types of tape
- Heat gun
- Wire cutters/strippers
- A computer with the Arduino Software
- Drill bits the size of your piping
- Exacto Blade or Knife
- Tape Measure
- Assorted Screwdrivers
- *Soldering Iron
- *Perf Board
- Disposable paint brush
- *Acrylics and brushes
Step 3: 1. the Mannequin
The main process of building the mannequin is built around you or a model. You will be bending the steel coat hangers around the model. You may just buy a mannequin, but there are pros and cons to it. A pro is you will save a lot of time and not need 3D printer access but spend a ton of money. I had a 3D printer and a load of old coat hangers along with some piping so I technically made mine free over about two weeks time. If you buy a mannequin skip to the next section(s). Otherwise start to use heavy duty wire cutters or a rotary tool to cut the hooks from about 50-75 coat hangers, then bend them straight for later use. You will also need a way to join the coat hangers such as my universal 3D printed clips which I will link here in stl format, a welder, or modeling clay. You will want to hot glue to bond the clay or clips.
The general process consists of this:
- Bend the hangers around your model
- Take the hangers away and bend them past where you want them to be to count in for the recoil and unbending
- Remove excess but don't remove too much at once
- Use clips or another joining process to connect them into their proper shapes
- Keep the scrap hanger pieces for later use! Even the small ones!
Step 4: A. Head
- Bend one hanger around the bottom of the front of your neck to the back of your neck.
- Bend one from mid way of your left shoulder to the mid way of your right shoulder
- Bend an oval around your neck and shoulders to join all the points
- You may want to reinforce the neck if you plan on using anything heavy duty on the head
Step 5: B. Chest
This will end up looking like a barrel. You will want to essentially make an oval barrel unless your body or model has other features, gender is a variable here. To get a stronger chest piece, weave the hangers between each other.
- Make an oval ring using your pants, the belt loops in jeans make this easier
- Connect the head and waist using four hangers to make a general structure. Using other object and people to hold the chest cage makes this easier
- Make more rings and vertical hanger weaves until you're satisfied with the sturdiness
- Make sure to only glue the bottom clips in half way so you can connect the legs
Step 6: C. Legs
The legs use the same process as the chest, just add the vertical hangers and create rings to hold them in the proper shape. Mine were at lower hip level, knee level, and ankle level. These transitioned into the feet. The only different in the crotch piece which acts as a starting point. Remember to clip off any excess but not too much to where it'll be too short.
Step 7: D. Feet
The feet are very similar to the head in the bending process.
- Bend a shape either to fit inside your shoe or to the base of your foot. For my mannequin the foot size didn't matter so I just bent it a little larger than my real foot. It was difficult to fit into my shoe but it didn't matter due to my animatronic's feet being large boxes.
- Bend a vertical coat hanger up a little past your angle. Leave extra when you trim in case you need to adjust the angle of the ankle.
- Bend rings to hold the two previous hangers in place. I bent mine around the halfway point of my foot, but depending on your foot shape it could change. DO NOT put one under the heel around the curve of the back of your foot, the pipe will run between it later.
Step 8: E. Arms
The arms can be confusing so study the pictures, I tried to offer multiple angles where I could. The arm completely branches off of a single hanger connected to the shoulder and one connected to the under arm. I added a support within the body to support the arm to keep it from sagging. If you wanted to further support the arms, you could add two more pipes running through the arms later. A tip is to use another hanger to hold the arm in place while you glue it or to use a box. Also if you don't want to rip the shirt you're putting on the mannequin, then put it on BEFORE THE ARMS.
Step 9: F. Hands
For Foxy, all I needed was one hand considering the other was a hook. The process could be recreated for the other hand, just with the fingers and thumb bent the opposite way. Also I really used a lot of hot glue here to prevent the fingers from moving to much. Another note, you could skip adding that middle joint towards the end of the hand and put it toward the wrist, considering it will be cut to fit the wrist ring on the arm. I also glued the finger tips to keep them from damaging the gloves.
- Bend a shape similar to the back or palm of your hand
- Connect 5 clips
- Add fingers
Step 10: G. Base and Extra Support
In this step we will be creating a base for the animatronic to stay upright and to further support the body. The base is all about preference once again. All that needs done is two holes need drilled to fit the pipe fittings. I used adjustable clamp styled ones so I could remove the finished animatronic for repair and upgrades. As said previously you may add pipes to the arms for further support, but I did not require it. I actually screwed up and cut the wrong size holes, but Foxy's feet covered them.
- To create the base, grab something suitable like plywood.
- Lay out the feet of your animatronic and get a general idea of where you want the pipe to stand
- Measure a little bit away from the center of your foot (I went about half an inch), that way the pipe can slide through the heel of the mannequin
- Measure and drill the holes
- Insert the pipe fittings into the base using a wrench or strong adhesive
- Slide two equal length pipes into the base
- Heat completely around the pipes where you want the bends
- Bend the pipe in two places (each around 45 degree angles) to keep the pipe from breaking
- Heat the openings of the pipes and quickly insert the T joint. The heat will open the pipe enough to allow it to slide in, and the room temperature will cool the pipe snugly around the pipe. If this doesn't work due to size issues, epoxy or hot glue the joint in place.
- Heat the third pipe to place it on the last joint opening. This third pipe will be leading from the hips to the top of the head. If the third pipe will be too long, cut it to size so it barely reaches past the top of the head.
As another option, instead of heating the pipe you could get 45 degree angle fittings that snugly fit into the pipe and hammer them in. Epoxy could work too along with hot glue possibly.
Step 11: 2. the Skin
In this section, we're going to learn how to make your character unique. Keep in mind, mine used to be a Halloween costume based on my measurements, and the mannequin may be slightly larger than yourself or your model. I apologize in advance about the lack of process pictures but I will explain the best I can on how to do it yourself. I hadn't originally intended this to be an Instructable (much less my first one) but here goes. The process follows these basic steps:
- If you do not have sewing templates, make them with the newspaper. To make a template, wrap the newspaper around the part of your body that needs to be covered on the mannequin.
- Mark the paper and cut to form a flat template that can be glued or sewed into a limb cover. Tape can be used to create larger templates such as the chest, legs, or arms.
- Roll out the 1/2 inch foam or fabric and place the template on top of it.
- Trace the template with marker and cut out the shape.
- Use spray adhesive, hot glue, sewing supplies, or other means to cover the foam. Be swift when using spray adhesive and cover the entire surface in a light coat, make sure to keep the fabric flat and to avoid wrinkles along with bubbles.
- Cut the fabric about one inch larger than your foam on each side.
- Spray the inside edge of the foam and fold the fabric inwards, if you reach a curve then cut the fabric every inch or so and curve it.
Step 12: A. the Mask
The mask is the EXCEPTION. We will go over some changes that will be made to it later in the electronics section. Once again, this was a Halloween costume transformed into an animatronic a few months later. The process that I used actually described how to make Freddy rather than Foxy, I will link the video that I followed here:
All credit goes to him for the mask design, mine is just changed to fit my needs. I used the same process, except I cut the upper jaw car sponge differently and attatched the lower jaw in a different way too. The teeth and nose were 3D printed and spray painted according to Foxy's teeth. I used a nose made by Tioh on Thingiverse.com here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1131844 (You also could use modeling clay rather than 3D printing).
The lower jaw for Foxy was made with another coat hanger bent in a closed U shape through a pen tube inside of the flower pot base. Foam was later added around the hanger and duct taped completely for felting. It also should have a paperclip with beadalon wire tied around it for later use with the servo. Speaking of which, in the back of Foxy's jaw there is a small hole cut to fit a micro servo which is connected to said beadalon. I glued the beadalon to the servo horn (the white piece) to keep it from ever slipping, but left the screw open for adjustment.
To make the eyes simply cut a ping pong ball in half and glue a flickering LED candle inside, then glue the eye to a piece of foam board. and make sure to cut a hole to reach the battery compartment. Mine were originally removable using velcro but after it ripped off I just used tape to hold them in place.
The other eye hole is covered by an eye patch on a hinge. The hinge is made of a U shaped piece of foam board connected to a pen tube. There is a wire then connecting the eye patch to the mask.
Lastly, I created a black piece with velcro on opposite ends to cover the neck.
Step 13: B. the Chest Piece
Once again, follow the general process. The shoulder pieces were made the same as the rest but have velcro on the bottom connecting them over the sewed shoulders of the front and back of the chest piece. The sides are connected by velcro straps once again but you could substitute the velcro for hot glue or sew them for a more permanent bond. The silver pieces within the chest piece are just foam board with shiny fabric hot glued on. Don't forget to get under clothes to avoid the uncovered side of the foam showing.
Step 14: C. Arms and Legs
The arms and legs have the same process once again. Just cut out your foam using a template, and roll it to create a tube shape. Sew or hot glue them together to bond them. Cut any holes and apholster the foam with fabric BEFORE forming the tube.
Step 15: D. Hips
The hip piece was made similarly to the chest piece. Imagine a diaper where the sides create the seams. To make the template take the newspaper under your crotch and tape the sides. Then cut the legs so the final product looks similar to the shape of a diaper or briefs. Make sure to cover the foam before creating the seams.
If you wish to add the tail, leave a hold in the back. I used this 3D printed design from Adafruit.com to create mine but you could use any you please. Keep in mind the tail adds a bulky piece to the back and I changed the position of the springs on the picture of mine. I also had to cut down the shapes to fit my print bed. I know Foxy does not have a tail but I wanted to really show off around Halloween since I am known for my costumes around school. Here is the link to the tail: https://learn.adafruit.com/servo-animatronic-tail/...
Alternatively you could use this easier, more simple, and cost effective tail with less realistic movement: https://learn.adafruit.com/really-simple-animatron...
All credit goes to their respective creators. Although later on the coding will be different if you run both the jaw and tail on the same Arduino.
Step 16: E. Hand, Hook, and Feet
These are the most simple of the skin. The feet were cardboard boxes with holes cut so the wearer's feet could slide inside. Then shiny fabric was stretched over the box and hot glues from the inside to prevent wrinkling.
The hook consisted of a plastic cup connected to a plastic coat hanger. The coat hanger was heated and bent to fit the hook shape and stabbed through the top of the cup. Then hot glue it into place and post process with paint.
The hand was a spray painted cloth glove with a few additions. I had left over teeth that were somewhat smaller than the others, so I cut the tips of the fingers on the glove and slid them inside to create claws. The piece on the top is foam board with more hot glue as detailing. I suggest not spray painting a glove like I did, and instead buying or making one. The spray paint will slowly rub off of the hand with too much movement.
Step 17: 3. the Electronics
DONT BE INTIMIDATED. I have very minimal experience with electronics but you can hook up all of the electronics using something called a "solderless breadboard" meaning you dont need any real circuitry knowledge. You may always solder and create a shield for the Arduino if you prefer but I did a half and half. I custom build my own amplifier and audio input circuit based off Boris Landoni's Arduino sound signal to servo movement tutorial here: http://www.open-electronics.org/simple-halloween-s... I used his code within the code that runs the jaw and tail. Once again all credit for the audio input circuit and arduino code goes to him.
This is a section that can vary immensely. Depending if you add more servo motors or use more power, this section will be more personalized towards you. I will show my circuitry diagrams here and further explain some things but mainly what I did. As long as you follow my Fritzing Diagrams you should be able to make the circuit mostly with ease. In the end, after dressing the animatronic Foxy I inserted all of the electronics inside of the head, but you also could make the base a box that holds all the electronics for easier repair and future changes. Feel free to comment down below any questions about the electronics for your own.
Step 18: A. the Arduino
I will post the coding used here, along with diagrams on how to recreate the circuit onto a bread board. I will also include the coding used to run everything. I included the Fritzing files (The diagram files) as well as the coding. You will want an external power supply other than the Arduino's on board outputs so you dont overload the board and pins. You could run the entire animatronic (servos and Arduino) on the same power supply but I just used a 9V to power the Arduino when I need it to. The coding is the Arduino.ino file above, just open it, compile it, and upload it to the arduino via usb cable. Remember that the amp, servos, and Arduino will all separately need power so be sure to have multiple adapters on hand or even wire them all to run off of the same one. (Just be sure to use a proper amperage).
Step 19: B. Building the General Circuit
The pictures will show you step by step how to put together the sections of electronics from the diagrams in the previous step. The Altoids tin is my LM386 Audio Amp but you could just as easily buy one along with speakers. I suggest a two channel output amplifier, one for the Arduino input and one for the actual speakers. I just used my amp with a subwoofer and tweeter box. Make sure to have a power inverter with enough amperage (measured around 1600 mA on mine) to supply the servos. If you try to use the Arduino it wont have enough to power both of the servos adequately. Once built, place the electronics somewhere within the base or other part of the animatronic.
Step 20: Dressing Your Animatronic (Let's Make It Pretty!)
Woohoo! Almost done! Now all you have to do is dress your mannequin and run the wiring throughout the mannequin. Another advantage of having a hallow homemade heavy duty skeleton is that the wire can just run along the pipe of dangle inside. For a store bought mannequin you could cut grooves in it to keep it smooth for the final product. These pictures will show you how to dress your life-like robot. A tip when doing so is to use safety pins, regular pins, hot glue or sewing supplies to finalize or connect limbs like the upper and lower arms to the hands. Unless you put the under shirt on BEFORE adding the arms, you will need to tear the shoulder seams and reconnect them via previously mentioned methods.
Step 21: Stand Back and Enjoy the Show
Take a minute to finalize and review your craftsmanship, and to check for screw ups. Set your amp to your liking and calibrate the servo horn on the jaw. Then put on some tunes, step back, and enjoy the show. Here are my personal videos of MuseofDiscord's "Foxy's Tale" and MandoPony's "Noticed". Please do share your own creations using the "I Made It!" button. I'd love to see if anyone creates their own characters or referenced ones.
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