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Is Halloween coming up? Has it already passed? Doesn't matter! Any time is the perfect time for your very own robotic human skull. When you finish this Instructable, you'll have a skull with articulating neck and jaw, and glowing movable eyes that can change color between red, green, and blue.

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Time Required: ~4 hours

Total Cost: ~$70

Materials:

Tools:

  • Dremel with plastic grinding attachment
  • Jigsaw or hacksaw
  • Soldering iron
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Hand Drill

Step 1: Carving the Cranium

The skull we bought has a completely empty brain cavity, which will be perfect for our servos, lights, and controller! However, we still need to do a bit of reconstructive surgery.

Before hacking away at the skull, grab your piece of PVC and your wood piece and spray paint both pieces black. These can dry while you're working on the rest of the skull.

Undo the clasps, lift the top of the skull clear, and set it aside - we won't need it until everything else is installed. There's also a loose tooth on the right side of the jaw that you can hot glue back in place at this time.

Now let's start making room for the eye servo motors. Take your dremel and use a cutting bit to slice away the top of the eye sockets, as per the diagram. You want to cut so that the small TowerPro servos can fit on the top shelf of "bone", with the axle of the servo sticking partially forward into the eye socket.

At this time, you can also unscrew the machine screws holding on the lower jaw, and take the springs off - you won't need these anymore. Using a drill, widen the screw hole on the right side of the skull so we can fit some wire through it.

The jaw has probably fallen off by now; let's take a moment to fix this by wiring the right side to the skull. Take the jaw and pop off the silicon cartilage on the right side. Use the drill again to put a hole in the rightmost point underneath where the silicon was, then drill a small hole through the top of the silicon. We'll need one more hole where the jaw connects to the skull, so go ahead and drill one there. Run some mounting wire through this series of holes (with the silicon piece in place) and tie it at each end so that the jaw is fixed to the skull, but loose enough to move up an down.

Now let's wire up the other side of the jaw. Take some more mounting wire, tie it to the left jaw hole where the spring was attached. Cut a length of wire roughly a foot long and run it wire up through the hole in the skull (also where the spring was attached). We'll want to attach the end of this wire to our jaw servo later.

Finally, we'll need some eye material. Cut out the ping pong materials into a shape that would fit in the eye socket, kind of like a contact lens. This might take a few tries, but once you get a good shape you can lay that piece on top of your other ping pong ball and use it as a template.

<p>great job</p>
<p>What code?</p>
<p>This looks so cool! The way the LEDs shine on the ping pong balls create a great creepy eye effect. Very nice! </p>
<p>Thanks! It's even creepier in the animated GIF, when they're moving around. Combined with the head moving, it almost feels like he's following you....</p>

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