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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everybody! Here is my now fully functional robot skeleton. He is not dressed up in his Grim Reaper outfit right now because I am still doing a few things with his mechanics, but here he is.



I started building him back in June 2010 and barely had enough done to kind of sort of have a technically somewhat functional project complete in time for Halloween of last year. Nothing went horribly wrong, but I knew that I had a lot more work to do.

Now that I have a functional remote control, all I have to do is push a button when kids show up and one of twenty-five Halloween-themed phrases will be spoken (each one gets a turn before cycling) along with random arm and head movements.

What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I already have videos of him in action. These were taken back in November 2010 in Nashville in response to a performance by Craig Ferguson (since the robot is my version of Geoff Peterson, the robot skeleton sidekick from his show). Back then, things were not even close to working they way they do now, but none the less...

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Video?? Sounds like a SUPER Cool project. I'm sure I'm not the only one that will ask for a video.
I will try to record and post a video of his Halloween-related applications a bit later today...assuming I can find the cable that connects my video camera to my computer.
:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)

From my YouTube description:
This is the Fergybot4000. He is my version of Geoff Peterson, the robot skeleton sidekick from "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson".

In this video, I have programmed my robot for employment during the upcoming Halloween season. I plan to have him in a Grim Reaper costume which he is not wearing now while I fiddle some more with the mechanics. He will be standing on my front porch waiting for trick-or-treaters to arrive...and when they do, the fun begins!

Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

All I have to do is push a button on his remote control and one of his twenty-five phrases will be spoken along with random arm and head movements. Each phrase gets a turn being spoken before cycling. I can also independently control body movements as well as the random ones generated in this video.

Have a look and tell me what you think in the comments. Enjoy!

List of phrases:
1) Please watch your step as you leave. I left a few dead bodies lying around out there.
2) I hope that jack-o-lantern you smashed wasn't anybody I knew.
3) Did you hear that noise? It came from over there.
4) I am dead. What are you supposed to be?
5) Sticks and stones will break my bones, but that's not going to stop me.
6) Are you not the same children that I ate last year?
7) You will see me again...in your dreams.
8) Candy is dandy, but lightning id frightening.
9) Dracula and Frankenstein are my neighbors. Who lives around here?
10) I am hungry. Will somebody get me some witch's brew?
11) Can I have some of your candy?
12) If I really scare you tonight, just wait until school tomorrow.
13) Yay! More victims...I mean, visitors.
14) Ancient spirits of evil are no match for your parents.
15) Do not be afraid. I only get mad when people ask me for candy.
16) I ate zombies for breakfast and I'll eat you for dinner.
17) Which one of you is volunteering for the sacrifice?
18) Have many of your friends mysteriously disappeared this evening?
19) My skin is crawling...and it's coming to get you!
20) Must have brains! It's a shame yours are not available.
21) You are so frightening, I jumped out of my skin.
22) You are the only thing scarier than me.
23) It's nice to get out of the coffin every once in a while.
24) Be warned! At the stroke of midnight, I will turn into a human.
25) Trick or treat? Are you sure there aren't any other options?
 

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Nice job. What's the control system?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
A 20-button switch keypad is hooked up to an Axon II microcontroller which, in addition to the two servos, controls an MP3Trigger (audio source) which outputs to a Scary Terry servo driver board (to control the jaw) and outputs from there to the mini-amplifier. It also receives input via a Bluetooth antenna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
After some consideration, I will be making the following upgrades to the robot.

1) I am going to install a handheld push button trigger (something like a contestant's signaling device on Jeopardy!) which will be sewn into a glove that I will wear. This frees up my hands from holding on to the bulky control box while trying to pass out candy and control the skeleton at the same time. I just use the regular control box to set the AUDIO and BODY modes in advance, then use the trigger to activate the RANDOM button.

2) I am going to finally get around to trying to wire the RGB LED eyes to change colors via the control box. There is a button already in place which triggers code that I know works, there is just no wiring going from the microcontroller to the eyes. Right now, the eyes are controlled by a manual knob in the back of the skull and can only use three colors (red, blue, and green) due to the limitation on the knob. With the new wiring in place, I will hopefully have access to all seven of the main mix of colors (red, blue, green, yellow, magenta, cyan, and white)

3) Change a few words in his phraseology and modify the voice. I got him to *say* what I want, but now I need to make it *sound* right. The somewhat British accent that he has going for him right now is not all that shabby, but some words sound weird. I will try to make things sound a bit clearer.

4) I am going to do something with the hand to make it point more forward. Geoff is supposed to be the gay robot, not mine!
:D

As always, I welcome your questions, comments, suggestions, ideas, and smart ass remarks. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
My apologies for not posting a video in the earlier post, but I wanted to give you a more guided tour of the robot and all of its capabilities which would also serve as the "before" picture. For whatever reason, I never shot the video before going to work on updates this weekend.

However, the upgrade to the LED eyes is finished and functional. Here is an animated GIF of the color cycling (null :), red, blue, green, magenta, yellow, cyan, and white).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Here are some pictures of the skeleton in his Grim Reaper outfit with some of his various eye colors (red, blue, and green). I am not entirely happy with the way the reaper robe fits, but I guess it will just have to do because I do not want to resort to using a bed sheet. In addition to his duties for trick-or-treat time, he will be used as part of a Halloween-themed fundraising effort in a couple of weeks.
 
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