Last year, I put together a skull to fly around my yard (some Halloween folks will recognize this system as an “Axworthy Flying Ghost“). The system was comprised of two Adafruit Neopixel rings for eyes, attached to a styrofoam skull, which had been hollowed out. Inside it, was an Arduino Uno, Adafruit AudioFX board, a 314mhz receiver, a 3-watt Class-D amplifier, a custom-made interface board which tied all the previously-listed components together, and a LIPO battery. The idea was that I could remotely trigger the skull to play one of four sound effects. However, all those parts sure weighed a lot, which when combined with the span between my pulleys, really made the skull sag down low.
This year, I decided to KISS. I ripped out all the guts, except for the Neopixel eyes. I decided that this year, I’m not going to have sound in the skull. Instead of the Uno, I went with an Adafruit Trinket, and used a UBEC (Universal Battery Eliminator Circuit) to drop the LIPO voltage from 7.4V -> 5V that the Trinket and Neopixels run at. Shown below is how everything is connected together, prices, and sources if you’d like to make your own! And here’s a video of what the eyes look like (sorry about the VVS!!)!
This project began much like many of my projects at Milwaukee Makerspace have: an off-the-cuff discussion; in this case, with Lance Lamont about a possible project for Maker Faire Milwaukee. After a few rounds of discussion, we came up with the idea of an electromagnetic crane. I decided I’d attempt to build one similar to this style, and that I’d start off with the magnet. I purchased several small electromagnets from Tom‘s favorite website, Banggood. Thus, the MicroMagnetArray was born:
And failed miserably. Running at 18v (50% more than its rated voltage!), it was only drawing ~200mA, and could only lift 2-4 of the 7/16ths nuts I’d borrowed for use as ballast.
So my inner maker came boiling to the surface and yelled at me, “why not wind my own!?”… Continue reading
Well, Pete did us a solid with the HMMDMMH.. I took it to the next level, by graphing the data the HMMDMMH provides!
You can change the number of weeks’ worth of data it displays, by adding “&weeks=xx” to the URL, like this. There’s a little bit of missing data here and there, which is why there are some skipped week numbers. Right now, I’ve collected approximately 25 weeks worth of data. This will only grow as MMS does, though! You might end up seeing this in the MMMPIS too!
Also, coming soon: A stand-alone executable version (for Windows) of the HMMDMMH!
EDIT: 2014 Week 26: After this was implemented we looked closer at the numbers and found an error. It has been corrected, hence the drop
I want to open my first blog post with a statement that continues to impress me: Milwaukee Makerspace is a wonderful place! I mostly show up for the free meetings. MMS provides an excellent environment to be social, to learn (happens every time I go!), to teach (when I can!), and to get the creative juices flowing.
I had recently started working with Arduino (after a failed run at Microchip’s PIC series of microcontrollers), and was making progress quickly. I learned how to read infrared remote control codes, how to use an infrared motion sensor, and how to control servos. What I did not have, was a sense of direction as to where to go with all of this!
After listening to the Bay View Neighborhood Associate pitch their idea of MMS helping with the Pumpkin Pavilion, and listening to Royce Pipkins describe his idea of animatronic pumpkins singing along to a song, I was struck with my own idea: an animatronic skull.
Thus, it was born!
http://vimeo.com/55121596 <- Link to the video
I’ll post more details in a following post about how I built this guy. :)
Many thanks to Royce, Tom G., and Ed C. for their help on this project!