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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time for new projects this year, so I've had to really focus on a handful of favorites. One of these projects, an Animatronic Owl, is part of our "mood setting" creatures for our haunted yard display.

In the summer I purchased an Easy Gardener Motion-Sensored owl:


and servo controls for a custom beak and wings. He's not 100% done yet (he needs his "feathers", but here's some movies I took during various phases so far.

-- Beak movement test (Freeze Ray Song)
-- Short and basic wing movement test
-- Full body integration test (no sound :( )

For now, I'm leaving the original motor / sensor controls for the head movement, but I may eventually put a servo in place of that mechanism as well.

I'll try to share some more once the feathers go on (maybe this weekend!?!?) Here's to hoping.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No. It's a servo recorder from Servocity.com. I use it for general testing and other grunt work around the haunt. :)
 

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Very cool! I have a Gemmy owl I bought from Lowes last year that I'm doing basically the same thing with, but no wings. I'm jealous!

(Dr. Horrible's tune was a nice touch, too.)
 

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Gret job. It reminds me of the tiki room. I think some "back up singers" like the singing pumpkins would be cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gret job. It reminds me of the tiki room. I think some "back up singers" like the singing pumpkins would be cool.
Thanks. This year I'm thinking about having the Owl, my raven from last year, and our animated skull singing something by the Swingtips, but we'll see...
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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:eek::eek::eek:
That is so awesome!

I couldn't stop giggling at the Dr. Horrible song either...

I would never in a million years be able to build something like this, but I can at least appreciate the project. (and wish that I understood technical/electronic stuff)
 

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livin Halloween every day
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Very very cool, now i want one.Maybe a how-to for this once you are finished.
Nicework.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Tutorial...

Very very cool, now i want one.Maybe a how-to for this once you are finished.
Nicework.
Thanks. I've been taking a slew of pictures so hopefully I'll be able to put some sort of step by step tutorial together when I'm done. I'm really loving how this one is turning out! It may not be "scary", but the cool Halloween possibilities are endless! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
:eek::eek::eek:
That is so awesome!

I couldn't stop giggling at the Dr. Horrible song either...

I would never in a million years be able to build something like this, but I can at least appreciate the project. (and wish that I understood technical/electronic stuff)
You'd be surprised. I'm a horrible sculptor and yet I managed to make the beak and wings for the Owl out of Sculpy. Heck, Sculpy is really great for making custom servo mounts too...

Here's some of the images of the Owl in his early stages to give you some idea of the various parts...

Login | Facebook -- wings front
Login | Facebook -- Wings back
Login | Facebook -- beak
Login | Facebook -- Wing control servo
Login | Facebook -- Mounted servo with linkages to wings
Login | Facebook -- Inside of head #1
Login | Facebook -- Inside of head #2

As far as the "programming" goes, you can make it as complicated or as easy as you want. For the wing movement, I'm using a simple servo "recorder" that lets you record the actions you want the servos to perform by turning various knobs. If/when you want to get more complicated, you can use a full blown recorder/sequencer that hooks in via a serial connection to your computer.

The beak movement is just a sound <> servo movement circuit (lots of places to buy one if you don't want to build one). To make sure the movement is "clean", I always record my own track of dedicated bleeps on one stereo channel and then use the other channel for the actual audio. That way, regardless of the complexity of the audio, the beak only moves when I want it to.

The hardest part this year is that I'm actually planning on using 4 channel audio. 2 Channels for the original soundtrack and then 2 channels to control the Owl's beak and then the movement of the background "singers". Keeping the two sets of channels in sync especially through the "looping" will be interesting since I've never done it before, but I'm confident I'll figure something out with lots of experimentation time. ;)
 
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