Intro: Larry the Joke Telling Robot Skull and His Dad, Skullduino.
Hi everyone, I will start by saying that I have not made an instructable for this project. I would have liked to, but I did not take any photos during the build, nor would I have been able to find the spare time. I will say however that I am thinking about doing a similar project (a rebuild?) after Halloween when I can reclaim the servo. If the video generates a bit of interest, I will be sure to 'ible the next one. In the meantime I have been dying (overstatment, but curious for certain) for some feedback. (seeking validation...oh god, I am probably in some kind of downward spiral)
Oh, I guess I should say something about Larry, what he is and does. He is an animatronic skull made by hacking together a few dollar store Halloween items and a servo motor. An articulated skull was the main component, I hacked off the top and hot glued in a plastic brain. A small servo with a little armature is controlling the jaw, the servo is being controlled by an Arduino. The Arduino is in turn tethered to a netbook running a Processing sketch. The Processing sketch is using the VOCE (speech recognition) library to recognize the requests I am making. He basically tells kid jokes, but he knows over 200 of them. He tells regular jokes of the question answer format, knock knock jokes, and occasionally a one liner.
He fetches his jokes from text files, and so can easily have jokes added to his repository, I stopped when I felt he didn't retell to often. the next iteration of Larry will be much friendlier in appearance and I will be adding a whole bunch more jokes and types. The other change I will make is to also include the free tts library as the VOCE implementation for generation is less tweekable.
For a first try at this kind of thing, he seems to work pretty well. I am proud of him.
Skullduino was actually Larry's predecessor, but I am including him second. There is no reason for this. I love them both. Skullduino turned into more of an experimental platform and I am still playing around with him, although I am thinking he will mostly be re-purposed after Halloween too. He is the same dollar store skull model mounted on a turret platform (neck) with an ancient digistix cam innards mounded behind one eye socket. He is using Processing and OpenCV to track motion and detect faces. I have put up all three of his vids so you can see how he progressed.
Finalist in the
Halloween Photos Challenge