Instructables
Picture of Servo driven face
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I've decided to see if I could build a head that had similar movements to the Madame Leota tombstone from Haunted Mansion using servos.

Eventually, I may build a tombstone for it to go inside.

The first thing I did was come up with the design for the eyes and eyelids on a word processing program (I converted it to .png) and then cut out a piece of mdf to hold the eye and the servos. I ended up having to cut out another piece of MDF to get the eyes closer to the inside of the mask.



 
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Step 1:

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I used 40mm ping pong balls with wooden dowels that go through the top so the eyes sit on board.

A few more dowels are glued into the back of the ping pong balls so the eyes can move left and right. Two large paper clips were straightened out to assist with connecting the dowels to the servo.

Before I attached the eyes to the board, I attached "U" brackets which the eyelids are connected to the mdf. A few more large paper clips were used as connectors between the eyelids and the servo. At first I used hot glue to attach the eye lid servo to the mdf, but I decided to make it more secure and used vertical servo mounts.

A small square piece of wood sits just in between the "U" brackets and a pop sickle stick is attached to the little piece of wood to keep the eyes from rolling back, but still allowing the eyes to move.
psycho_38522 years ago
very nice, you could have it to where it fallows a person as they pass by the mask. to add to the creepiness
dionicia12 (author)  psycho_38522 years ago
I thought about doing that with pictures. :)
Having it follow a person is definitely possible and can be done analog, without requiring a microcontroller. You'll need an analog infrared sensor in each eye, and an op-amp, and an analog motor (not a stepper motor). Depending on which eye gives the stronger IR signal, trigger the servo to turn in that direction. The head will turn until the IR from each eye is balanced and should continue to track you as you walk across its path. A friend of mine, Steve McGloin, built this circuit when we were students back in '77 before PICs etc were available. (Sorry I can't remember the circuit in enough detail to reproduce but any electrical engineer should be able to work it out. I'm more of a digital man myself.)
dionicia12 (author)  gtoal2 years ago
Very cool. On my list for 2013 Halloween season. Thanks. :)
For Halloween a skull might be fun. That was actually Steve's implementation. The recessed eye sockets help make the IR detection more directional too.

I forgot to explain that with his one, the whole skull rotated to follow you across the room, but I'm fairly confident you could make it work with just the eyes.

Or have the eyes follow you first and the head move more slowly until it is facing you again...
dionicia12 (author)  gtoal2 years ago
I already have four 3-axis skulls so I think the paintings might work out better for the eye that follow.

Although, if the whole skull followed and not just the eyes, that would be a new twist in using animated skulls.

Sounds like it might be interesting to get another Lindberg skull and give this a go.

Thank you.

Looks like there's been some movement in this area (pardon the pun) on Instructables in the last couple of years:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Halloween-Props-That-Turn-to-Look-at-You-as-you-Wa/

Have you any plans for something new for this year's halloween?

By the way, this month's (Sept 2014) Nuts'n'Volts is all about halloween. Recommended reading!

http://www.nutsvolts.com/

dionicia12 (author)  gtoal14 days ago

I had a big transition this year to a different state so I'm still trying to get organized.

Thank you for the information. A few of my friends have articles in the Nuts'nVolts magazine so I'm going to check it out.

Thank you.

Redsic gtoal2 years ago
This is an interesting concept of beam Robotic's :)

Would love to see an Instructable on this :D
gtoal gtoal2 years ago
Talking about this circuit made we want to experiment.. I've just tested something very similar, although it is for following a light source, not infra-red: http://www.instructables.com/id/2-sun-tracker-circuit/ and then in the related instructables I found this circuit which may be pretty close to something you could use...
lambofwrath954 months ago

reminds me of Meshuggah - Shed... you should totally make a weird video or horror/sci-fi trailer with these!

Hello friend, Great work here! I am going to make Leota'a tomb my project for 2013 Halloween as she takes some detail. This year my devotion is to Madam leota herself. I have Decided to work on one character from the Haunted mansion a year! I was wondering if you might give up your secret as to how you created the detail in her headress? I see people using molds but I am wondering if that is too heavy and how to Adhere Late text to Styrofoam? I thought there is no harm in asking. Any advice in all areas of her tomb would be so appreciated. The season is early, I could Mabey get her out this year! I do expect that may be Ambitious. I expect Madam leota herself I will probably run into some snaafoos. Thank you!
dionicia12 (author)  Eticketdream1 year ago
Hi.

Great questions. The tombstone itself was carved using a CNC machine. I worked with woodloom.com as the price was very reasonable.

The headdress I will using a mix of foam and muslin fabric. The fabric will be coated with monstermud (a mix of joint compound and latex paint). The foam I will be carving using a hot knife. The face itself you should be able to find at Halloween stores as they should have plenty this time of year or you can find them online (which might be cheaper).

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you need clarification on anything.

Thank you.
Hello,
I do have two more questions if I may. I was wondering what you will be using for a stencil ( if any) for the epitaph and fleur de lis? I was also wondering what you will be using to adhear the final mold of the headress to the tombstone; being it will be Styrofoam. Thank you so much!!
dionicia12 (author)  Eticketdream1 year ago
I added a picture of the tombstone with the face. I still have a little work to do to finish her up but as you can see from the picture, it didn't turn out too bad.
Thank you! I hope you will take pictures and document your progress as you did with her face. This is a fantastic addition to the Haunted mansion props that are so rare out there! How wonderful the Internet is that super fans of Halloween and the HM can read and share ideas. You will truly have one of the first working Leota's tombs! Cheers!
AZbubs2 years ago
Cool! I voted for ya, my friend! Maybe someday I will get my skulls working. . .
dionicia12 (author)  AZbubs2 years ago
I appreciate it.

Let me know if I can help with the skulls. I've built a number of them in the past.

Thank you.
Devilsgate2 years ago
Too cool you got my vote..! :)
dionicia12 (author)  Devilsgate2 years ago
You rock. :)