Introduction: Homemade Mechatronic Face

Picture of Homemade Mechatronic Face

Have you ever wanted to build a mechatronic but didn’t have the resources to do so? Fear no more! You don’t really need fancy expensive tools to do so. In this project we will explain how we built a mechatronic face with very simple tools.

To be fair it does pretty basic movements, it moves the eyes up and down and left to right and the jaw also moves up and down, however this project shows that you don’t need much to do pretty cool stuff.

When we were planning how to build this mechatronic, we made a model of the face in Autodesk Maya to give us an idea of how to piece it together and of how it would work. Later, while we were building it, we made some changes (mostly to how the jaw would be moved).

Step 1: The Basics & Materials

Picture of The Basics & Materials

Our mechatronic has three degrees of freedom, two in the eyes and one in the
jaw.

What will you need?

Actually the materials are very flexible, you can use almost anything and adapt it to your model, for example we used:

• 3 servomotors (1 for each degree of freedom).

• Nails, screws, lag screws and washers.

• Wooden parts.

• 2 ping pong balls.

• Silicon gun.

• A mask.

• Breadboard.

• Wires.

• Arduino Uno.

• Computer.

Step 2: Building the Mechatronic

Picture of Building the Mechatronic

First we have to build the base where everything
will be put together. We used wood for it and by adding little pieces of wood we made columns to adjust the height where the mechanism of the eyes and the mouth will be.

In the original mechanism there was going to be two servo motors to move the jaw but at the end we find out that it was easier to use only one.

We cut the ping pong balls in half, then we punctured them to insert a piece inside made by washers, screws and nails. One extreme of the piece of one ping pong half is connected with nails to a column and the other to the base, whereas in the other ping pong half is connected to a servo motor that is in charge of doing the up and down movement.

An extra hole is punctured in the outsides of the balls to connect a piece made with glued nails and washers. The other side is also connected to a servo motor, but in this case it is in charge of the left and right movement.

We painted the mask and cut the jaw from it. Then we pasted a wooden stick to it which is connected to a servo motor that is in charge of dropping it and rising it. The top part of the mask is being held with metal wire and it is aligned to the ping pong balls to simulate the eyes.

Step 3: Wiring and Programming

Picture of Wiring and Programming

The wiring is pretty simple:

You connect the three servo motors to GND and to the current (5 volts), then you connect each motor to their pin:

  • 9 for the motor that controls the horizontal movement of the eyes.
  • 10 for the motor that controls the movement of the jaw.
  • 11 for the motor that controls the vertical movement of the eyes.

Then copy and paste the Arduino code into a new sketch and run it with Arduino.

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