The next level...
An idea of what it'll look like.
Obviously, it still needs a "shell" and is still a work in progress.
Camera Eye setup:
The webcam used are Microsoft (I know, don't hit me!) VX-6000 1.3Mp USB2. They were chosen for their picture quality and the included camera swivel mounts. In version 1, Max V1, I used just 1 of these and it worked fine, but it didn't move. It was bolted, stationary in place. So this time we have 4 servos to control the pan and tilt action of the cameras, individually! This is something that I don't think other people have done. They prefer to go with 2 cameras, locked together with puch rods to simulate human eyes. My question is, why? It's a robot and not a human. Wouldn't it be better if we could have 1 eye/camera doing something such as looking for obstacles and the other doing face tracking etc?
With this setup you can. From the pictures you should be able to work out mostly how I've constructed the camera mounts. I've removed the base plate from the webcams and used a screw through from the bottom of the perspex plate into the webcam mounts with a washer inbetween to allow the mounts to rotate easily, whilst still being held firmly.
I've then mounted a metal bracket to the side of each of the webcam mounts that extends back behind the webcam. Another servo mounts to a perspex plate that bolts to the metal bracket. A push rod connects to the back of the webcam housing. This controls the tilt action of the webcam.
Another servo mounted to the bottom perspex plate controls the pan action by a push rod connected to the metal bracket.
A modesty block is bolted to the perspex base with a couple of cable ties that keep the strain off the webcam cables.
The 4 servos are controlled by 4 channels on the SSC module. Which give independant control or linked control over the two eyes simultaneously.
Animated mouth setup:
85 Blue leds, 1 PIC16F877, 22 transistors and a bunch of other bits. This is the new version 2 of Max's mouth. It will display a sequence of mouth movements in response to a volume change. Example, a loud sound like someone yelling, and we produce a large oval on the display to indicate a wide open mouth. A quiet sound will be a small "o" on the display. At the speed of the display, refreshing about 100 times a second, it will look fluid as if it's lip syncing.
The audio in is just a line in, fed into a pre-amp transistor (another bc547 wired as an amplifier) so that we get a 0-5v range and this is then few into RA0 as an ADC.
Wow, thats a lot of LED's! 85 to be exact.
22 bc547 transistors control the led array.
The led array is address by first selecting the row we wish to use and then the column. 5 transistors control the rows (+ to leds), 17 control the columns (0v to leds). Complicated no?
What a neat job! Yes, I know it's still on veroboard, but its easy and you can modify it easily.
The system running in a test mode, just to make sure all the leds are working
The system uses a PIC16F877, a 40 pin chip running at 20mhz (or 5 depending on how you view it). With the 877 we have 32 IO's available to use, and 10 of those are ADC's. I designed this to read in an anolgue voltage on RA0, do a conversion and find if it's between a value and then display an appropriate sequence on the led array. I also have a mode switch pin so that I can change from mouth display to bar graph display.
This setup is fast compared to using a computer program to do the animated mouth, as should hopefully be quiet fluid and life like. Videos to follow when it's completed.
The Control Systems:
The entire animatronic eye setup, connected to the SSC and then to a laptop via a serial-usb cable. The software, OSC is then running on the laptop and a remote desktop service is established between a PDA (in this case an Acer N30 with WiFi card from SpecTec).
OSC is then displayed on the remote PDA, where I can control individual servos or linked servos or playback/record movements etc remotely!
You could also run remote desktop on a laptop etc for better functionality over a PDA, but this just shows it works, and works well!
Still to do:
- Eye lid shutters, these will be fully rounded to fit around the webcam and slide back into the head.
- Amplifer and speaker for voice
- Shell! It doesn't have a head at the moment, just a collection of components!
Hopefully this will be "more finished" soon.
- Max V1
Please do not reproduce anything contained within my website, as it maybe hazardous to your health unless you fully understand what you are doing.
I cannot be held responsible. This website is copyright.
© Oliver Hunt 2006-2008