Twitter Controlled Robotic Helmet

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Introduction: Twitter Controlled Robotic Helmet

About: Mad Scientist

Have you ever wanted to reach through your computer and caress the faces of your loved ones? Same. In this Instructable, we will be building a robotic helmet that allows you to receive tweets from your families and friends. Only with this helmet, instead of getting a written message, it will take a picture of your loved one and gently press it into your face skin, reminding you that you are loved.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Tech materials:

  • 4 x standard servos
  • Hookup Wires
  • 1 x Mini breadboard
  • 1 x Raspberry Pi

Building materials:

  • Lasercut acrylic parts
  • Duct tape
  • Double sided tape
  • Machine screws
  • Cable ties

Misc:

  • 3 x 2.5” by 3” pictures of your loved ones
  • 1 x Bike helmet
  • 2 x 9V batteries
  • 3 x 8” dowel rod

Step 2: Assemble the Helmet

This Robot Consists of Two Main Parts:

  1. The rotating picture holder that moves images of your loved ones in front of your face.
  2. The Twitter API code that allows you to set custom hashtags and receive data from Twitter.

In this step, we will be assembling the picture-rotating mechanism that sits on top of your helmet.

Assemble the Picture Frames:

  • In the .dxf file, “Lasercut Parts,” you will see rectangular pieces labeled “Picture Frames.” Take these picture frame pieces and use them to sandwich the images of your family and friends. This can be done using four machine screws.

  • After the pictures are in their frames, take your 3 dowel rods, and attach them to the frames using duct tape. Once this step is complete, you will need to connect each of the dowels to the servo motors on top of your helmet. This can be done by drilling holes in the non-picture ends of the dowels and attaching them to your plastic servo horns. NOTE: when drilling holes, make sure the picture frame is oriented correctly, allowing you to see the image when it moves in front of your face.

Assemble the Rotation Platform:

Now, we will assemble the three-armed rotation platform that will sit on top of the helmet and hold the servos.

  • Take the acrylic piece marked “Rotation Center” and attach the three pieces marked “Servo Platform” using the corresponding holes at the ends of the “Rotation Center” pieces.
  • Attach the servos to the “Servo Platform” pieces using cable ties. Be sure to note the direction of the servos in the reference image.
  • Finally, connect the dowel rods to the servos using the plastic servo horns you attached in the previous step.

Attach the Axis Servo to the Helmet:

Now, we will attach the axis servo to the top of the helmet. Considering that each helmet is different, you will need to find a position to place the servo that allows it to sit upright.

  • Attach your remaining servo to the piece marked “Axis Servo Holder.”
  • Once you have found a spot on top of your helmet that allows the servo to sit upright, drill four holes in the top of the helmet according to the holes in the “Axis Servo Holder,” and attach your motor using cable ties.
  • Finally, attach the “Rotation Center” you assembled in the previous step to the axis servo.

Assemble the Raspberry Pi Platform:

Now, you will attach your plastic “Raspberry Pi Holder” to your helmet. This will allow you to keep both your Pi and your breadboard secure. Like in the previous step, the exact placement of the holder will be up to you, depending on much space is available on the helmet.

  • Take your acrylic piece labeled “Raspberry Pi Holder” and, using the holes in either side, attach it to the side of your helmet.
  • As mentioned in the paragraphs above, exact placement is up to you, but be sure that the holder will not interfere with the movement of the servo motors.
  • Attach your breadboard and Raspberry Pi to the holder using double-sided tape.

Step 3: Wiring

According to the Fritzing diagram, wire your motors to your Raspberry Pi. Once everything is connected, make sure your wires are organized using cable ties.

Step 4: Upload Code

In order to receive information from Twitter, you will need to generate access tokens from your Twitter account. Here is a link to instructions if you do not already have these tokens generated.

  • Once you have generated your access tokens, open the file marked “twittercredentials.py” and copy and paste your information into the corresponding lines. Be sure to save your code after this has been done.
  • Next, open the file “HelmetCode.py” and go to line #94. Here you can insert your custom hashtags, so each time one of your designated hashtags is tweeted, the helmet will respond.

NOTE: be sure to run your code in terminal

Step 5: Finishing Notes

  • If you would like this helmet to be portable, you can use a portable phone charger to power your Raspberry Pi.
  • Despite the fact that this robot is literally a helmet, don't let the power go to your head. Figuratively and literally (double check wire connections).

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    Discussions

    Nice idea. Thank you for sharing this innovative telepresence interface :-)