Introduction: Maleficent's Raven - Robotized Raven With LED Eyes
Need the finishing touch to make your Malificent costume stand out?
Or do you just want an awesome Halloween prop that will impress?
This vileness, robotized Raven will get the job done! It took a bit of time but I promise you, the results will be sweet!
Here is what you need (it's a quite a few things but it's worth it!):
-Servo Motor (On Amazon: RioRand 2 Pcs TowerPro SG90 9G micro small servo motor RC Robot Helicopter for Arduino 2560 UNO R3 AVR A049)
-Battery Pack (On Amazon: 2 of Tactic 4 Cell AA Battery Holder with Fut J Connector)
-Servo Tester (On Amazon: Neewer Servo Tester CCPM Consistency Master Checker 3CH 4.8-6V)
-Switch (Purchased at a hobby store, used in remote controlled helicopters)
-Extra wires (with servo conectors)
-Hollow Raven (try to get one with sturdy wire coming out of it's feet, bought mine at Joanne's Fabrics)
-2 Red LEDs (Radioshack)
-2 Resistors (200 ohm 1/4 watt) (Radioshack)
-Wire (I used stereo wire split in two)
-Simple on/off switch
-Battery Pack (2 AAs)
-Black wood stain
-Very small drill bits
-Black Electrical Tape
-Strips of black fake leather
Helpful but not Needed:
-"Helping Hands" (On amazon: SE MZ101B Helping Hands with Magnifying Glass)
Hope you enjoy! Hit me up in the comments if you have questions.
Step 1: Step 1: Create Circuitry for Head Movement
Servo Tester (which will allow you to control the motor, sweeping left to right)
Once you have all of the parts for this step, the circuit is pretty easy to set up. All of the wires should lock into each other. It can take a little experimentation to get them in the right way.
The circuit goes as follows: Connect the servo Motor to one of the extra wires. Connect the other end of that extra wire to the Servo tester (on the side of the tester that has three male connections. Use the top connection). Connect the other side of the tester (the side with just one connection) to the switch (if your switch has three wires coming out of it like mine, use the wire that is by it's self to connect to the tester). Connect the other side of the switch to an extra wire, which in turn you should connect to the battery pack.
Things to look out for:
-Make sure you are lining up the wires male to female. Sometimes it seemed to fit okay but I need to flip around a connector.
-When I first put together my circuit, the tester was on the setting I wanted, which was for me to control the motor to slowly move back and forth. If it's not in the right setting there is a button to push in the corner that will change the setting.
Step 2: Step 2: Prep Raven
1 Hollow Raven
This step is pretty easy! Cut off the raven's head. I used a utility knife and it took a little time to do it safely but it came off pretty clean.
Once the head is off, cut a little trap door on the raven's butt. This where you will be able to access your battery packs and switches.
Step 3: Step 3: LED Circuitry and Head Mount
2 Red LEDs
2 Resistors (200 ohm 1/4 watt)
Wire (I used stereo wire that I split in two)
Simple on/off Switch
Battery Pack (2 AAs)
Electrical Tape Wire Stripper
Helpful but not Needed:
For the LED eyes, I soldered all of the wires together but if you don't have a soldering iron you can just twist the wires together (snuggly!) and cover in electrical tape. Soldering will help it stay put (plus it's pretty fun!)
Follow the hand drawn wiring schematic. Everything above the dotted line will be in the raven's head and everything below the dotted line will be in the ravens body. Do everything above the dotted line first.
Mark the end of the wires that are connected to the long ends of the LEDs because you will want to make sure those wires are the ones that connect to the resisters. Once I connected the wires directly to the ends of the LEDs, I pressed the LEDs into small holes in the crow's head. I made the small holes by cutting small x's with a utility knife.
Next I cut a small piece of styrofoam and using Epoxy, glued the styrofoam into the crow's head leaving room for the wires to come through. Finally, I finished the rest of the circuit, soldering the resistors and the rest of the wires to the battery pack.
Step 4: Step 4: Putting the Motor in the Body
Servo Motor circuitry
Just like in the head of the raven, you are going to cut a square piece of styrofoam that will fit snugly in the neck of the bird. Once you have about the right size (error on the side of too big), use your box cutter to start chipping away a slot in the middle for your servo motor. You will need to detach the wire that connects the servo to the rest of the circuit to fit the servo into the styrofoam.
Next you will glue the styrofoam block into the neck of the raven with epoxy, just as you did in the raven's head. Make sure you fit the LED eyes circuit in the body before you glue in the block.
While that glue is setting, take off the "arm" on the servo motor. You will be fitting the dress pins into the small holes in the arm and gluing them in with epoxy. I used my helping hand to glue the pins in. Make sure that you are gluing the pins in the correct direction. They should be facing pointy side away from the motor when the arm is in place.
Once all of the glue has set, snap the arm back onto the servo motor and make sure the servo motor is plugged into the servo circuit. The battery for the servo circuit should be in the body of the raven but the rest of the wiring should be hanging outside of it's butt (ha!). Turn the servo circuit on and position the arm at it's farthest point. Using this as a starting point, press the head of the raven onto the needles. Use the servo tester to manipulate the head to make sure it is moving the way you want it to.
Step 5: Step 5: Finishing Touches on the Raven
Glue (Epoxy or hot glue)
Glue feathers onto the head of the raven so they cover the motor mechanism on the neck of the bird. I used epoxy but hot glue or any other strong adhesive should work. You may also want to add feathers elsewhere on the body if there are any bald spots. Glue feathers on the butt to cover up the trap door.
Step 6: Step 6: Prep the Staff
Black wood stain
Very small drill bits
I searched high and low to find the perfect staff. It should have an off-shoot where the bird can rest. Alternatively, you can skip the staff all together if you want to have the raven elsewhere.
I used wood stain to dye the staff black. Don't forget the use protective gloves, wood stain is not fun to scrub off your skin! I just used the rag to wipe it on, let it dry for about 15 minutes, and then wiped off the excess. I did two coats.
Once the staff was completely dry, I drilled two holes into the off shoot where the raven's feet would go. I highly recommend getting a raven with solid wires coming out of it's feet. I used a little epoxy and glued the wires into the holes.
Step 7: Step 7: Final Touches
Black Electrical Tape
Strips of black fake leather
Finally, you will need to wrap the cords and servo tester on the staff. I used a lot of black electrical tape to secure the wires, switches, and the servo tester on the staff. I then colored everything that wasn't black with a sharpie. Finally, I wrapped some of the fake leather around the staff. I was pretty picky about trying to hide everything, but in reality people won't be looking at the circuitry when they are mesmerize by the moving head and LED eyes!
Good luck! Hit me up in the comments if you have questions!
Second Prize in the
Fourth Prize in the
Halloween Props Contest
Participated in the
Make it Glow!