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Seeking X-Y Servo-Controlled Eye Movement

939 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  professor_key

I’m on monsterguts.com’s list to be notified when their two-axis skull eyes kit becomes available (sounds like they’re trying to establish a new skull supply for which they’ll adapt their animated eye assembly design).

In the interim, can someone please recommend an alternative two-axis illuminated eye product I might be able to adapt for a prop? I’ve got one of Adafruit’s “Monster M4SK” units (video eyes). It’s really neat, but I suspect the C++ programming skills required to assume control of the eye movements are well above mine. I’m looking for a solution that I can control using a couple of small servos driven by an Arduino.

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A Picotalk will control 2 or 3 movements with LED support. A PicoDMX will control 4. A ServoDMX will control 16 with Neopixel support. The first 2 mentioned can be programmed real time. The last you need to link a Booboxflexmax to allow programming via Director.
Thanks, but I’m looking for a dual servo-operated X-Y (i.e. look left-right and up-down) illuminated eyeball pointing mechanism, not a controller. I’m using an Arduino as the controller.
I have the Adafruit M4SK kit in a prop and it is really cool. It comes with code already installed that moves the eyes in random directions. If you want to write code for the movements you can, but you don’t have to.

I also just purchased this kit on Etsy which gets you 2 eyes that move right/left and up/down AND has eyelids. The guy is 3D printing most of the parts. I just got it yesterday and it’s going to take awhile to put it all together but I will add a post when I get it set up.
Thanks for the Etsy tip, JW. I’ll have to sign up and check it out.

The prop I’m making uses a Panasonic Grid-EYE thermopile IR sensor array device in conjunction with an Arduino to cause the prop’s eye’s to track people walking by. At least that’s the intent. I won’t know how well it works until I can interface the Arduino with some “eyes”. Therefore I do need to control the software running on the M4SK so the Arduino can point the mask’s gaze to the azimuth and elevation angles indicated by the sensor array.

I’d like to be justly able to take credit for this idea, but after I started working on the project I soon found two other people who’ve already done this using Adafruit’s video eye products. I’m trying to learn how those first designers figured out how to adapt these product’s software to take input from an external controller (vs. having the product change its gaze randomly).
JW, Just following up. I followed your much-appreciated Etsy link, was impressed with the apparent value, and ordered the kit. I left a message with the business owner, John, asking if he had any recommendations for using his kit with lighted eyeballs for a Halloween prop. Should be fun!
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