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Topic: Valentine's Day project - Animatronic stuffed animal - Need ideas (Read 2 times) previous topic - next topic

Retroplayer

#15
Feb 13, 2013, 11:52 am Last Edit: Feb 13, 2013, 02:43 pm by Retroplayer Reason: 1
Tonight, I will be adding microswitches into the mouth mechanism in order to sense when the mouth is open or closed. I decided I needed to do this because there are times when I want to have the mouth left open, for example when singing. I can really only envision needing to know when it is open, not when it is closed, but while I am in there, I will just add both.

Microswitches are ridiculously expensive even on the surplus market (unless you order from china). I will be scavenging the switches from old CDROM drives or other equipment.

Some simple mods to my controlling code is all that will be needed to sense the mouth movements and I can still "run" it (just cycling open and closed) while ignoring the switches for normal talking.


I will also be installing the speaker in the head while I am in there. I will also throw together an amp circuit on breadboard tonight. Final circuit will use SMD components and a properly laid out board.

I have also started working on the serial command format that will be encoded in the left audio track.

Right now, there is only:
Thinking logically here, the idea is to sync movements to the audio. So, at the bare miminum, all that would be required is periods of mouth running and not running. Adding in commands for opening/closing the book would also be useful.

Once I add switches for sensing opened/closed state of the mouth, this would add two other commands. To seem moderately realistic there are times when opening the mouth and keeping it open for a period of time would better match the audio. For singing, this would be appropriate.

I have no current plans for speed control, though that is a possibility for a little more syncing realism. That would require encoding speed data on the audio as well.

Some experiments might be to even listen to the audio and do some auto-lipsyncing. This would probably be fairly straightforward for talking, but with singing, you would have to distinguish between vocals and instruments. Or have one track with only the vocals. Measuring the beat frequency would indicate speed, amplitude would indicate how open or closed to make the mouth. Though, without linear feedback, I imagine the code would be fairly simple. Again, cleanly separating vocals from background noise/instruments is the real issue. Thankfully that could be processed ahead of time.

Moving along, but still open to great ideas and suggestions. What would you do with this project?

HazardsMind

I was thinking about your solution for the mouth, you want to use just switches? But that will give you only open and close, not inbetween. Why not use a pot, or a flex sensor, that way you will be able to see exactly where the mouth is.
Created Libraries:
TFT_Extension, OneWireKeypad, SerialServo, (UPD)WiiClassicController, VWID

Retroplayer


I was thinking about your solution for the mouth, you want to use just switches? But that will give you only open and close, not inbetween. Why not use a pot, or a flex sensor, that way you will be able to see exactly where the mouth is.


Because I don't really think it is necessary for this application. The mouth movement is so small anyway and would be barely noticeable in in-between states. Second, there is difficulty to adding a pot to the mechanism. Adding limit switches is pretty simple. I will just glue them at the point of the levers so the levers themselves actuate them at extreme position.

If I *were* to add a pot, I would probably be best disassembling the gearbox and finding a common gear. Remember that the single motor runs both the mouth and the book open/close. So either one pot could be on the common gear for both movements, or one on the outputs of either movement.

It's not impossible, but I don't really think the effort will result in any noticeable difference.

I will have this appart again tonight, so I will take some pictures of the various mechanisms.

HazardsMind

Well if you use a flex sensor, you can just glue that to the mouth lever or somewhere that moves with the mouth and that will work just like a pot, without the mess.
Created Libraries:
TFT_Extension, OneWireKeypad, SerialServo, (UPD)WiiClassicController, VWID

Retroplayer


Well if you use a flex sensor, you can just glue that to the mouth lever or somewhere that moves with the mouth and that will work just like a pot, without the mess.


True. I can look into that. But, again, I don't think it will add all that much to know exact position of the mouth. Once you add the fur and the stuffing, the movement of the mouth will be very very small. As it is, I can't really tell if the mouth is in-between fully open or fully closed just by looking at it.

The switch idea was just meant to stop the cycle at either extreme so I don't just keep cycling the mouth movement on points where the voice is 'sustained' like when you are singing, shouting, or adding emphasis to something. Or stopping the mouth on the fully open position when the voice pauses.

The flex sensor would make it easy to measure exact position, though. I wouldn't mind picking one up to play with anyway.

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