Introduction: PUPPET CONTROLLER

Picture of PUPPET CONTROLLER
Three kinds of motion:  Human, Mechanical,  Animation.  Blend them together to build a puppet controller for the real and virtual world.

Or, Pacman - three ways.

This Instructable includes:
   - Using an adjustable resistor as input to the Arduino Micro-controller
   - Controlling two servo motors from the Arduino
   -Controlling animation on the computer from the Arduino

Here are the basic steps:
    - Servo control with Arduino and potentiometer
   - Replace potentiometer with a flexible sensor
   - Create animation on the computer screen 
   - Setup communication between the computer and Arduino
   - Mount everything in a usable way and test it out!

Here is a good book for learning arduino:
Programming Arduino Getting Started with Sketches

Here is an arduino starter kit on amazon:
Starter Kit for Newsite Uno R3 - Bundle of 6 Items: Newsite Uno R3, Breadboard, Holder, Jumper Wires, USB Cable and 9V Battery Connector

There are videos, photos, and code along the way.








Step 1: Servo Code for Arduino

Picture of Servo Code for Arduino
Basic setup to controll a motor with Arduino based on input from a sensor.

Parts:
      2 servo motors
      Arduino board ( i have a screw shield on it, but that is not critical)
      Potentiometer (this one is 0 to 100Kohm)
      Jumper wires
     Pipe cleaners (for show).

1 - Wire the servo motors.  These are special motors, you can input an angle and the motor will do it.  The servos have three wires: Power (red, 5V)  - Ground (black)   - Yellow (communication - angle info goes in here).
          In this setup: Red goes the Arduino 5V,  Black goes to Arduino Ground, Yellow will go         to specific input/ouput pins on the Arduino. 
         Servo 1: Yellow -----  Pin 9
        Servo 2: Yellow   -----pin 10

2 - Wire the potentiometer
       This has three leads.
                     Lead 1 ----- 5V
                     Lead 2 ----- Pin 0
                    Lead 3 ------ Ground

3 - Code - 
     The code below is from the Arduino example for servo motor control.  It includes the servo library, which makes it easy to communicate to the servo.
      This also maps (scales) the input from the pot into an angle (in radians) for the servo motor.  We want the two motors to go in opposite directions.  To do this I've translated the the low pot values to the high angle values. 
     You'll lnotice there are some references to 'serial'  - this stuff lets you send data from the Arduino over the USB to the computer.  You can then view the values, this is useful.

NOTE: The instructables editor drops the line to include the servo motor.
It should be like this:
                #include < Servo.h >; //use servo library



Puppet Mouth Controls
   -two servos
  -opposite angles
  -Pot input


////////// Arduino Code ///////////////
//This is from an example inluded with Arduino IDE download.
//    Controlling a servo position using a potentiometer (variable resistor)
//    by Michal Rinott
//MPC - added serial output 'n stuff

/*
Here is the wiring:

Wiring -
|------Arduino Gnd
Encoder |------Analog 0
|------Arduino 5V

| Yellow ------ Digi 9 (PWM)
Top servo | Red -----------5V
| Brown -------Gnd

| Yellow ------ Digi 10 (PWM)
Bottom servo | Red -----------5V
| Brown ------


*/
#include < Servo.h >;               //use servo library

Servo myservo; // create servo object to control a servo
Servo otherServo ;

int potpin = 0; // analog pin used to connect the potentiometer
int val; // variable to read the value from the analog pin
int valComp;

void setup()
{
myservo.attach(9); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object
otherServo.attach(10);
Serial.begin(9600);
}

void loop()
{
val = analogRead(potpin); // reads the value of the potentiometer (value between 0 and 1023)
valComp = analogRead(potpin);
Serial.println(val);
val = map(val, 0, 1023, 90, 179); // scale it to use it with the servo (value between 0 and 180)
valComp = map(valComp, 1023, 0, 0, 90);
myservo.write(val); // sets the servo position according to the scaled value
delay(15);
otherServo.write(valComp);
delay(25); // waits for the servo to get there
}
 

Step 2: Add a Flex Sensor

Picture of Add a Flex Sensor
The pot works well, but it is not much fun. 

So you can swap it out for different sensor.  I'm using a flex sensor from instructables.  The sensor changes resistance as it is bent.   It is from [##REF##].

The flex sensor is hooked up like this:
    
5V----------
                  |
Pin 0----- 100K ------ One end of flex sensor---------
                  |                                                                    |
                  |                                                                  Flex Sensor
                  |                                                                    |
Ground-------------------other end of flex sensor-----


The resistor value depends on the resistance of the sensor.  It should be in the same ballpark as the max resistance of the sensor.  You'll also have to tweak the code mapping the input values to the servo angle. 
Look for this line of code:
                         val = map(val, 40, 350, 90, 179); // scale it to use it with the serv

Here is a video:

Replace potentiometer with the flex sensor
-Adjust Analog input values so everything works right with the flex sensor.  It is okay to guess a little

-Here's the updated code

////////// Arduino Code ///////////////

// Controlling a servo position using a potentiometer (variable resistor)
// by Michal Rinott
//MPC - added serial output 'n stuff
// With flex sensor
// -Tweak Val to Angle Map

/*
Here is the wiring:

Wiring -

Flex Sensor |------Arduino Gnd
Flex Sensor |------Analog 0
100K |------Analog 0
100K |------Arduino 5V


| Yellow ------ Digi 9 (PWM)
Top servo | Red -----------5V
| Brown -------Gnd

| Yellow ------ Digi 10 (PWM)
Bottom servo | Red -----------5V
| Brown ------


*/
#include

Servo myservo; // create servo object to control a servo
Servo otherServo ;

int potpin = 0; // analog pin used to connect the potentiometer
int val; // variable to read the value from the analog pin
int valComp;

void setup()
{
myservo.attach(9); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object
otherServo.attach(10);
Serial.begin(9600);
}

void loop()
{
val = analogRead(potpin); // reads the value of the potentiometer (value between 0 and 1023)
Serial.println(val);
valComp = analogRead(potpin);
Serial.println(val);
val = map(val, 40, 350, 90, 179); // scale it to use it with the servo (value between 0 and 180)
valComp = map(valComp, 350, 40, 0, 90); //other servo does oposite
myservo.write(val); // sets the servo position according to the scaled value
delay(15);
otherServo.write(valComp);
delay(25); // waits for the servo to get there

}
 

Step 3: Mouth on Computer Screen

Picture of Mouth on Computer Screen

Now lets make a 'virtual' version.  This will show an animated 'mouth' on the computer screen.  For now I just want to get something working, so this code uses the X value from the mouse to determine the angle of the mouth opening.  Latter we'll jam the value form the flex sensor in here.

This uses Processing (from www.processing.org)  

//PROCESSING CODE
//pacman moouth opens/close with X input from mouse

float x = 0;
float val = 0;

void setup(){
size(200,200);
background(100);
smooth();
}

void draw(){
background(100); //clear last image
val = mouseX;
x = map(val,0,200,0.01,0.3); //translate values input to useful values
println(x);
arc(100,100,50,50,(x)*PI,PI+(1-x)*PI); //draw packman, using radians... p21

Step 4: Hook 'em Together

Picture of Hook 'em Together
Now - swap out the mouse for the flex sensor.  

We can do this by using the serial output from the Arduino as the input to the processing code.

Now we have two peices of code.  The Arduino code reads the flex center, makes the readings into useful numbers  and sends the values to the serial port. 

The Processing code will read the values from the serial port and use the info to draw on the screen.

Here is a video clip:

[embeded video]

Here is the code:

//PROCESSING CODE
//pacman moouth opens/close with X input from arduino output (flex sensor)

import processing.serial.*;
Serial port;
float x = 0;
float val = 0;

void setup(){
size(400,400);
background(100);
smooth();
println(Serial.list());
String arduinoPort = Serial.list()[1];
port =new Serial(this, arduinoPort, 9600);
}

void draw(){
if (port.available() > 0) {
val = port.read();
print(val);
//val = mouseX;
print("-----");
x = map(val,0,150,0.01,0.5); //translate values input to useful values/println(x);
println(x);
}
background(100); //clear last image
arc(200,200,100,100,(x)*PI,PI+(1-x)*PI); //draw packman, using radians... p21

}



////////// Arduino Code ///////////////
//This is from an example inluded with Arduino IDE download.
// Controlling a servo position using a potentiometer (variable resistor)
// by Michal Rinott
//MPC - added serial output 'n stuff


//Here is the wiring:
//
//Wiring -
//|------Arduino Gnd
//Encoder |------Analog 0
//|------Arduino 5V
//
//| Yellow ------ Digi 9 (PWM)
//Top servo | Red -----------5V
//| Brown -------Gnd
//
//| Yellow ------ Digi 10 (PWM)
//Bottom servo | Red -----------5V
//| Brown ------

#include ; //use servo library

Servo myservo; // create servo object to control a servo
Servo otherServo ;

int potpin = 0; // analog pin used to connect the potentiometer
int val; // variable to read the value from the analog pin
int valComp;

void setup()
{
myservo.attach(9); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object
otherServo.attach(10);
Serial.begin(9600);
}

void loop()
{
val = analogRead(potpin); // reads the value of the potentiometer (value between 0 and 1023)
//Serial.print(val);
//Serial.print("---");
val = map(val, 0,1023, 0,255);
valComp = val;
//Serial.println(val);
Serial.print(val,BYTE);
delay(10);
val = map(val, 10, 100, 90, 179); // scale it to use it with the servo (value between 0 and 180)
valComp = map(valComp, 100, 10, 0, 90);
myservo.write(val); // sets the servo position according to the scaled value
delay(10);
otherServo.write(valComp);
delay(10); // waits for the servo to get there
}







Step 5: Make It Like a Puppet... Sort Of

Picture of Make It Like a Puppet... Sort Of
A simple puppet can be made from cardboard and hot glue.  Photos are below.  

Here are the basic steps:

Hand puppet (big one): 
  1.      Cut a circle out of cardboard.
  2. Slice the circle down the middle
  3. Make a hinge to hold onto (folded piece of cardboard)
  4. Glue the hinge to the half circles
  5. Attach flex sensor to hinge with double sided foam tape
  6. Cut and glue some loops for your fingers
  7. Wire up the flex sensor (same as before, it is just stuck to something now)
Mechanical puppet: 
  1. Cut a smaller circle
  2. Cut it in half
  3. Glue the servos together
  4. Glue the half circles to the servo arm


Step 6: A Working Thing!

Picture of A Working Thing!
Now we can put it all back together to make something that works! 

A few tweaks were needed:
  1. Now that the flex sensor is tapped to the hinge, it is always a little flexed so the impedance is lower.  I changed the resistor to 10K.  
  2. The mapping from sensor input to servo angle needed to be adjusted a bit.  
  3. I also flipped around the pacman animation in processing and made it bigger for the photos.
After these adjustments the whole thing works pretty well.  It is a bit jittery, but that can be fixed.... (but I'm not going to).

Video:




This shows the back a little




Code with all the peices working nicely:

note: using 10K pullup resistor 

////////// Arduino Code ///////////////
//This is from an example inluded with Arduino IDE download.
// Controlling a servo position using a potentiometer (variable resistor)
// by Michal Rinott
//MPC - added serial output 'n stuff

/*
Here is the wiring:

Wiring -
|------Arduino Gnd
Encoder |------Analog 0
|------Arduino 5V

| Yellow ------ Digi 9 (PWM)
Top servo | Red -----------5V
| Brown -------Gnd

| Yellow ------ Digi 10 (PWM)
Bottom servo | Red -----------5V
| Brown ------


*/
#include ; //use servo library

Servo myservo; // create servo object to control a servo
Servo otherServo ;

int potpin = 0; // analog pin used to connect the potentiometer
int val=0; // variable to read the value from the analog pin
int valComp;
int valOld=100;

void setup()
{
myservo.attach(9); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object
otherServo.attach(10);
Serial.begin(9600);
}

void loop()
{
val = analogRead(potpin); // reads the value of the potentiometer (value between 0 and 1023)
//Serial.print(val);
//Serial.print("---");
val = map(val, 0,1023, 0,255);
if(val > 175){ //wide open
val = 185;
}
if(val <80){ //closed
val = 80;
}
if((abs(val-valOld))>7){ //filter out the jitter
valComp = val;
//Serial.println(val);//DEBUG
Serial.print(val,BYTE);//USE
delay(10);
val = map(val, 80, 255, 90, 179); // scale it to use it with the servo (value between 0 and 180)
valComp = map(valComp, 255, 80, 0, 90);
myservo.write(val); // sets the servo position according to the scaled value
delay(10);
otherServo.write(valComp);
delay(10); // waits for the servo to get there
valOld = val;
}
}

/*
//PROCESSING CODE
//pacman moouth opens/close with X input from arduino output (flex sensor)

import processing.serial.*;
Serial port;
float x = 0;
float val = 0;
int frame = 1000;

float easing = 0.5;
float xOld;

void setup(){
size(frame,frame);
background(100);
smooth();
println(Serial.list());
String arduinoPort = Serial.list()[1];
port =new Serial(this, arduinoPort, 9600);
}

void draw(){
if (port.available() > 0) {
val = port.read();
print(val);
//val = mouseX;
print("-----");
x = map(val,80,255,0.01,0.6); //translate values input to useful values/println(x);
println(x);
}
background(100); //clear last image
rotate(PI);
translate(-frame,-frame);
float targetX = x;
x+=(targetX - x)*easing;
arc(frame/2,frame/2,frame/2,frame/2,(x)*PI,PI+(1-x)*PI); //draw packman, using radians... p21
//x= xOld;
}
*/

Step 7: What to Do Next?

Picture of What to Do Next?

I let the girls play with it... they got tired of it quickly.

So what else could we do?


We could:
  - Stop and do something else (look at all these contests!) 
  - Decorate the puppet and sow the sensors to a glove or sock
  - Network the puppet (ie Puppet-Net)
            - Send values over the internet to another computer with the same setup
           - Show animation on the other computer
           - Output motion to an arduino with servos on the other computer
    -Network goal -
              - Puppet controller at each location
              - Puppet physical output at each location
              - Animations of both virtual puppets shown an screen
               - Add sound
 - Stop and do something else (look at all these contests!)


 



Comments

自陈 (author)2011-08-20

Great example.

Dumchicken (author)2011-02-03

waka waka waka waka waka waka waka waka waka waka

xyz0zero (author)2011-01-29

so cute~

magicpocket (author)2011-01-08

Love it.

Greasetattoo (author)2010-12-02

GREAT instructable..
Really enjoyed it!

Just trying to think of what else could be done with it!

Kaiven (author)2010-11-28

That is one of the coolest things I have seen. I really need to learn how to program.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Married to Domestic_Engineer (but I call her Meghan).
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