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I want to make an animatronic head for a roughly lion-sized cat costume. Can anyone here help? Answered

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Here's the problem I'm running into. I want the eyes to be able to look in all directions (or at least 8, anyway), the ears to turn and flatten, the mouth to open and close and the lips to pull back to show the teeth and I want it to do all this without external wires or me needing to have someone controlling the face wirelessly. Is there a way to do this? I know about bend sensors and pressure sensors, but I can't seem to figure out a way to use those without the face having seizures when I'm walking in the costume. Please see the sketch I have included of the roughed out concept for the costume to see what I've got figured out so far. (yes, it is supposed to have 2 tails.) Any suggestions?

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mpilchfamilyBest Answer (author)2012-03-16

Come of with a few sets of movement combinations. Then program each to there own button so nothing is happening unless you pres a button. Then it will run through its sequence of moves.

For example button one could have the mouth open wide and the ears turn back for a yawn or a roar. You can program sequences that do more subtle movement such as opening the mouth enough to allow the lips to pull back and show it's teeth. Or make its ear twitch a bit. Blinking the eyes would be a good effect too. The program could be set up to some what randomly blink the eyes while it waits for you to activate a routine.

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Graceria (author)mpilchfamily2012-03-17

Sounds good, but where do I put the buttons? My hands will be holding the hand stilts in the front legs.

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mpilchfamily (author)Graceria2012-03-17

Put the buttons within reach of your thumbs.

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rickharris (author)2012-03-16

These might help

http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/animatronic.htm

http://www.animatronics.org/

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-create-simple-animatronics-using-the-MAKE-c/

http://labyrnth.tripod.com/animatronics/index.html

https://www.instructables.com/id/Talking-Animatronic-Robot-Head/

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Graceria (author)rickharris2012-03-17

Thanks! I'll deffinately look into those! ^_^

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Graceria (author)Graceria2012-03-27

Another question. I've been working out a few more things and I want to have a small actuator to control some of the face. Can I hook an actuator to an animatronic control board and, if so, what kind of connection do I need? IOW, can it be wired to a servo control or do I need some other hook-up? Can anyone suggest a good control board that would be able to run at least 10 servos and record at least 6 preset action series and 7 audio clips?

Also, I'm thinking of taking apart some trackball mice to use to control the eyes. The idea is that I will use 3 mice, 2 which the eyes will be mounted on and moved by and 1 which I will use as the actual control (just the guts of them. Not using the casing.). The idea is that I would be able to roll the trackball attached to my hand stilt around with a finger and the eyes would match it's movement, there-by allowing them to look in any direction. Can anyone tell me if this is feasible and what I would need to do to make it work?

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Graceria (author)Graceria2012-03-27

Oh, one more thing! (I know, I know. It's a lot of questions) I also want to take apart some cheap video game controllers (the kind with the + shaped buttons) and set each point on the + button to control an expression on the head. (The buttons would be mounted on my hand stilts along with the track ball) If anyone knows how I could do this, it would be a HUGE help.

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