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I had a need for a head on a stationary robot display, so I chose a Cylon from the 1980's. I have seen many Cylon heads on the internet, many use digital means to simulate the eye movement. Being a fan of woodgears.ca, I decided to go with the mechanical version instead.

Since this is not a wearable mask, I could make it any dimensions. I opted for a size that would fit in my CNC router. By making a gear half the size of the planetary ring, a single point on the inner gear will move in a linear fashion when the inner gear is rotated. Thus creating the eye movement desired.

Step 1: Construction

I started with the CNC pattern and a cover layer. The little two holed bar is the rotor that keeps the inner gear in touch with the outer ring. The rest of the 3D portion was cut from many layers of various plywood and 2x8s with an upright band saw by hand. I added a little paint, a hinge at the top so I could turn the light on and off, and a motor on the back. The motor and gearbox was from one of those kids yard jeep. The light is a 'super bright' red LED hot glued to the top of a battery pack of three AAA batteries. This battery pack was mounted onto the inner rotating gear.

Step 2: Cylon Eye in Action

This is the motor and light in motion, but with no speed reduction. It is 12V direct drive from an old UPS battery. Later on, I added a PWM Driver and a variable speed controller on an Arduino to slow down the eye. Painted with a little black and gold spray paint.

A couple of youtube videos of it in action:

About This Instructable

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Bio: CNC Enthusiast, Amateur Astronomer, Photography, Computer hardware and programming, Arduino, Raspberry Pi
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