Introduction: Face Tracking Gundam Head Using ESP32-CAM

Continue to build project of combining electronics and modelling, this time the Exceed Model Gundam Head is used with improving individual problems encountered in last project.

Key features

  • Based on the current real robot structure as the foundation of head activity
  • Face detection and tracking without external computer
  • Fake Psycho Frame (Running LED)
  • Other light and sound effects
  • IoT project build by ESP32-CAM,Attiny85

Blog :

Renovation focus

Main lens

  • In fact, Gundam is mono-eye as well, refer to Mobile Suit Gundam Episode 16 (16:35)

Head activity

  • Traditionally, neck activity can present by pan-tilt action is enough. Due to personal preference, it is expected that the model can present in a more robotic like, after referring number of real-world examples, these three-axis designs is finally be used. In fact, it is not a special design but only considerate the simplicity on implementation.

Other structures

  • The power tubes are made by metal tubes with ball join and 1.2mm plastic platform.
  • There are a lot of things that need to put into the model, the Gundam Head interior has been cut largely to take more space.
  • As reminded by a modellers forum from Korea, Char Aznable has used Morse Code in the Battle of Loum with refer to Episode of MS Igloo. Last time unable apply to Zaku Head Project and now it is a feature for Gundam.

Detailed explanation as follow

Step 1: ​Electronics Reform Part

Electricity reform mainly has three parts:

1. ESP32-CAM

ESP32 micro controller panel with camera module for IoT production, its jobs in this project includes

  • Connect to Wifi AP to provide network services
  • Act as WebServer to provide web page to receive external instructions
  • Control of camera and other services such as human face recognition
  • Servo control
  • As I2C Master to communicate with the Attiny85 x 2

2. Attiny85 x 2

A common use and simple microcontroller, 8k flash memory, to be configured as I2C slave

  • One for LED control
  • One for Audio control with (DFPlayer) and Buzzer

3. 4017 + 555

Decimal counter and timer to build running LED effects

  • 555 - a timer generator, for running LED speed control
  • 4017- a decimal counter for LED on/off c. 10 x 100µF capacitors for LED fade-out effect

Step 2: ​Modelmaking - Step1

1. Head Main Lens

According to Gundam episode, the main lens is located at the top head position.

Front side is added with the lens while the rear is the entire quadrangle saw edgy, rebuilt with 1.7mm transparent plastic plate, together with a 3mm LED at the back. And the outer shell saw sits away the connection bit into a mountable appearance.

2. Vulcan Cannon

Boreholes plus LED are made

Step 3: Modelmaking - Step2

3. Eye

Made by 1 x 0603 LED + 2 x 0402 LED and 4 x 0402 LED, in which the 4 x LED are used for running LED effect.

After adding LEDs, because the original eye transparent parts are too thick to see the interior detail clearly, after experiment, finally transparent plastic plate is used.

Step 4: Modelmaking - Step3

4. Internal structure

Front position saw open pit pattern wiring, so to improve the appearance of the rear opening.

With the use of copper tube to make longer open amplitude of side covers, with the reed switch to trigger light effect control, and the covers are fixed with strong magnet.

Step 5: Modelmaking - Step4

5. RX System

Left Side

Boring added, formerly build named ZAKU System and named RX System this time as response XD.

They made by pad printing paper with letter-by-letter reversal on tape then printed to the model surface, but after completion, I unexpectedly destroyed the first two letters, and the final version added LED

Right Side
Now that words and LEDs were added at one side, the other side wants something different.

Therefore, running LED with the smallest package 0402 were used at right side.

  • With the use of thin fiber board as base, on top of double-sided adhesive paper
  • Wire added in-between the LED and get ~0.1mm interval, then welded one by one.
  • The other side connected to Ground, overall length is ~3mm.
  • And finally connect to running LED circuit.

Step 6: Modelmaking - Step5

6. Fake Psycho Frame (Running LED)

  • First, the outer cover, the pit-print saw,
  • Add with 20 x LEDs on each side
  • Connect to decimal counter for Every two sets of LED

7. Neck
Mainly made of copper columns and plastic plate

8. Connection

Major surgery, connecting two skulls.

Thank you for Watching