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Open up and say "Aaaaahh"
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I saw the comments on youtube it says the guy used mini pneumatic rods for the jaws. He does lighting and animated stuff for a living.
 

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Very nice- a real prop? I'm impressed!- I coulda sworn it was an animation as I was looking at the mouth movements it just looked too clean to be machine movements
 

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Open up and say "Aaaaahh"
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From youtube:
Profile:
Name: Bill
Age: 41

I'm a composer, engineer, and animatronic show designer. My company, Mindshaft Music Inc., is where all the magic happens. I write music for TV, film, radio, etc, and create animatronic shows from the ground up. I've created animatronics for haunted houses, a themed dentist office, churches, and more. I also create the BEST custom background sounds, full soundtracks, and audio loops for haunted attractions, dark rides, themed environments, and the like.

Country: United States
Occupation: Composer, Engineer, Show Designe...
Schools: Hard Knocks
Website: Mindshaft Music audio post



Bill, Did you replace any of the hardware in the skills or did you use what came in them? Are you using Brookshire VSA to run the show? I'm going to make something similar using Gemmy skulls but I'm going to mount them on "bodies" and use a servos or something to make them rock back and forth in unison. I may connect them together and use a windshield wiper motor with a weight to make them rock back and forth together.
THEMINDSHAFT (2 weeks ago) Show Hide Marked as spam Reply Yes I replaced the original jaw motors with tiny pneumatic cylinders as I dont think the original setup would last too long. My controll system is based on MIDI so you can use just about any DAW software. The original eye motors are kind of crappy too. Later ones I've done use a servo for the eye movement. Hope this helps,
Bill.
 

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jaw movement?

Wow !

If that is pneumatic, it is incredibly fast.

It is hard to tell, but can anyone tell if there is partial mouth opening? It almost looks like the mouth always opens to the max or at least appears to be heading that way. Like the movement impulse is stopped. I got a cheap skull in candy tray from K-Mart. $7.00. The eye movement is basic and the movement is really simple. Just a motor with a string that winds up on the shaft to open the jaw and a spring to pull it back. I think it is controlled similiar to the circuit Doc shared on his early skull.

Spinman
 

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so was there an answer to which skull or "kit"is used for these anyone one know where these are sold website or photos I'd like to watch for these and maybe pick up some of these things.
 

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The Evil Apparitionist
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demonic animatronic
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Wow !

If that is pneumatic, it is incredibly fast.

It is hard to tell, but can anyone tell if there is partial mouth opening? It almost looks like the mouth always opens to the max or at least appears to be heading that way. Like the movement impulse is stopped. I got a cheap skull in candy tray from K-Mart. $7.00. The eye movement is basic and the movement is really simple. Just a motor with a string that winds up on the shaft to open the jaw and a spring to pull it back. I think it is controlled similiar to the circuit Doc shared on his early skull.

Spinman
the jaw most likely opens all the way every time, i work alot with pneumatics and position control is alot of work and takes more solenoids, so he probably went with just a single movement control
 

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I can finally contribute!

The jaw is being moved (open) by a motor on a string and is closed by a spring. The jaw is always in the closed position when not in use.

Attached are pictures. I hope they are clear enough to see.
 

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I am looking for some skulls.....trade someone for some mini pneumatics. I got a bunch of really really tiny ones new but looking for some skulls to do such a project. I will take a few pics later and post them I did not know they even came that small!
 

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Howdy all from the Mindshaft

Just found this site and all the questions everyone had so I thought I'd jump in and answer. The skulls are made by Gemi corp. as a cheep prop. You can usually find them before Halloween at CVS pharmacy for about $14.00. They use two standard DC hobby motors. One for the eye movements, and one for the jaw. Both setups work but would be very unreliable for theme park use and abuse. But hey, 14 bucks for a skull with all the parts works for me. I used very small "bimba" brand single acting spring return air cylinders to replace the jaw motor and haven't had a breakdown now for two years. I'm gearing up for some crazy stuff, including work on the Wizard of Oz exibit for "Great Explorations" in St. Pete. Also picked up a super fancey (and retardedly expensive) servo pneumatic valve from Enfield Tech.(Enfield Technologies - Servo Pneumatic Proportional Control Systems) at the IAAPA show. When used with the newer position feedback air cylinders, it makes a fully closed loop position controller that can drive an air cylinder just like a servo motor. I always thought you had to go hydraulic for that kind of smoothness and speed controll. They are even faster than solinoid valves. They can open fully five cycles in both directions faster than a solinoid valve can just open once. But they are almost $600.00 each (without the driver that costs another $550.00) but this is how Disney is driving their newest line of charactors. Literally, turn the controll dial (just a 10K pot) and the air cylinder will follow your every movement at any speed. Cool stuff. BTW, the MIDI controllers I used for the bone tones was the Highly Liquid MSA-T (Highly Liquid: MIDI Retrofit & Decoder Kits, DIY Electronics) designed by John Staskevich. But he has a new one that I had some input on the design called the MD-24 that has 24 outputs that can be set for logic or PWM servo signal out for less than $50.0 in kit form, and if you order one, tell John that Bill sent ya! He did the software for my standalone MIDI show player, great guy and MIDI master!
Hope I answered some questions, and don't have a problem sharing because, remember grasshopper, anyone can build an animatronic charactor these days. Only the ones that are PROGRAMMED WELL will stand out in the crowd.

Good luck all with your respective projects,
Bill Ehrsam,
Mindshaft Music Inc.
 

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Small air cylinders

This one is a double acting, I used the single acting spring return model on the skulls. If you keep your air system clean and dry (some types require an oiler as well), pneumatics will outlast servos by years. Quieter too.
 

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Open up and say "Aaaaahh"
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Just found this site and all the questions everyone had so I thought I'd jump in and answer. The skulls are made by Gemi corp. as a cheep prop. You can usually find them before Halloween at CVS pharmacy for about $14.00. They use two standard DC hobby motors. One for the eye movements, and one for the jaw. Both setups work but would be very unreliable for theme park use and abuse. But hey, 14 bucks for a skull with all the parts works for me. I used very small "bimba" brand single acting spring return air cylinders to replace the jaw motor and haven't had a breakdown now for two years. I'm gearing up for some crazy stuff, including work on the Wizard of Oz exibit for "Great Explorations" in St. Pete. Also picked up a super fancey (and retardedly expensive) servo pneumatic valve from Enfield Tech.(Enfield Technologies - Servo Pneumatic Proportional Control Systems) at the IAAPA show. When used with the newer position feedback air cylinders, it makes a fully closed loop position controller that can drive an air cylinder just like a servo motor. I always thought you had to go hydraulic for that kind of smoothness and speed controll. They are even faster than solinoid valves. They can open fully five cycles in both directions faster than a solinoid valve can just open once. But they are almost $600.00 each (without the driver that costs another $550.00) but this is how Disney is driving their newest line of charactors. Literally, turn the controll dial (just a 10K pot) and the air cylinder will follow your every movement at any speed. Cool stuff. BTW, the MIDI controllers I used for the bone tones was the Highly Liquid MSA-T (Highly Liquid: MIDI Retrofit & Decoder Kits, DIY Electronics) designed by John Staskevich. But he has a new one that I had some input on the design called the MD-24 that has 24 outputs that can be set for logic or PWM servo signal out for less than $50.0 in kit form, and if you order one, tell John that Bill sent ya! He did the software for my standalone MIDI show player, great guy and MIDI master!
Hope I answered some questions, and don't have a problem sharing because, remember grasshopper, anyone can build an animatronic charactor these days. Only the ones that are PROGRAMMED WELL will stand out in the crowd.

Good luck all with your respective projects,
Bill Ehrsam,
Mindshaft Music Inc.
So, the feedback cylinder is connected to the atcuation cylinder to provide feedback to the fancy valve? Does this mean compliance technology can be implemented with pneuamtics? Wow! I was with you...I thought that was for hydraulics only too. Heheh..."retardedly expensive".

I checked the Enfield site catalog...Wow. Ka, fricken' ching. Maybe someday these things will be more common and prices may come down like all new technology.
Heck, better to spend a fraction of what they want for those fancy pneumatics gizmos and just go hydraulic.
 
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