Animatronic Horus helmet- here we go again!

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Honus, Apr 14, 2015.

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  1. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    So I made one of these before but it was a cheapie low budget foam job- now it's time to do it right. :)

    This build is a special project I'm doing for a friend. I didn't make the helmet- I'm just making it move. I will say that the helmet that was sent to me is one of the most gorgeous movie prop replicas I've ever seen. It's an absolutely stunning piece and it's dead on accurate. Once I'm done the helmet will be shipped back to the owner for proper finish work and painting. Although it is to be a display piece it is wearable just like the movie helmets.

    The helmet will have moving head, light up eyes (dimmable), opening eye iris and properly moving fans. Everything will be radio control just like the original movie helmets. I may write up a complete tutorial when I'm done but there will for sure be a short video series about the construction. It's a really exciting project and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work on it.

    Now for some pics! Here's the head casting-

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    Forward head mechanism mounting plate-

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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
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  2. BrundelFly

    BrundelFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh this is gonna be GOOOOD.

    ;-)
     
  3. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Yes sir! It's a pretty complex *. There's not really that much room in the head when you figure out the space needed for the mechanics and three servos that need to go in there. Four more servos go in the helmet part but that's a lot roomier.

    I'm going to modify the radio too in order to make it easier to control multiple functions at the same time.
     
  4. spoudastis

    spoudastis Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Oh man, I can't wait to see your progress, even that first piece is beautifully engineered! Subscribed.
     
  5. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Got the servo mount for the iris servos done-

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  6. Fawbish

    Fawbish Sr Member

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    looking forward to seeing this progress, love it when props have functional sides to them!
     
  7. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Would have got more done yesterday but I ran out of cutting fluid. I didn't want to risk tapping holes and destroying my end mills...

    I'll be working on the iris cups tonight. :)
     
  8. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Here's the eye iris I'm using. They measure 37mm OD x 5mm thick- perfect size! Full open to full close requires rotating the pin lever 90 degrees. Because they are identical, in order to operate them properly the right and left servos need to rotate in opposite directions. The way I've designed it the pin lever is fixed and the iris body rotates- it's housed in a machined cup that rotates in the bearing mount. Pics of that soon...

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. andy19422

    andy19422 Well-Known Member

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    VERY COOL:cool
     
  10. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Made one of the iris cups. I machined this test piece from Delrin to check clearances- it can be a bit deeper so I'll put a slight bevel on the inside which will make the eyes light up a bit better. There is a relief cut in the side of the cup for the iris lever pin. the lever pin will be held in a fixed position so when the cup rotates the iris will open and close.

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  11. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym New Member

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    Ohhhhhhhhhh schnip schnap! This is going to make your friend's showpiece all the more sweet!
     
  12. BrundelFly

    BrundelFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think I just wet myself.
     
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  13. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is gonna be epic! :thumbsup
     
  14. BrundelFly

    BrundelFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The EYES make the BIRD!
     
  15. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    More work done on the Horus head. Machined new eye cups from Aluminum. Each iris is held in place with three 6-32 set screws. Still need to attach the head pivot mechanism, iris locating brackets and eye LEDs. It’s a perfect fit in the head casting… no room to spare!

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  16. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This Is going to be beyond amazing. any chance of video when your done.:thumbsup
     
  17. B Wo

    B Wo Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    COOL! Where do you even find apertures like that?! Awesome, awesome, awesome. Can't wait to see this completed.
     
  18. xl97

    xl97 Sr Member

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    ^^ ditto! ^^

    I mess with electronicsa all the time for my props/projects.... these pre-made iris/apertures are great! (and should save tie vs making them by hand)
     
  19. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Of course there will be video when it's finished! Heck, there will be video even before it's finished. I think it's cool to see how animatronic mechanisms move.

    The iris apertures are available from China via eBay but you can find them in the U.S, from companies like OptoSigma and Thorlabs. The trick is finding one with the correct dimensions and we just lucked out with an eBay find as they were a lot less expensive than sourcing stateside.
     
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  20. Liquid Designs

    Liquid Designs New Member

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    I second that! A video would be amazing! :)
     
  21. brandomack

    brandomack Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great work so far!
     
  22. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Thanks guys! As soon as I get the main head pivot connected I'll make a video of it working. :)
     
  23. George

    George Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I love this sort of thing.I vividly remember the Stargate movie and the impression it left.Then,I saw this concept on youtube and I was blown away by the possibilities of cosplay to reproduce this animatronic head.Awesome build of which we need more !
    Good luck with the construction
     
  24. SciFiPropFreak

    SciFiPropFreak Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    THIS IS AWESOME!!!
    (not that I had to point it out to anybody...)
    I can never get enough of animatronics and machined and CNCed parts in costumes and props!
    more of this!....please :D
     
  25. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Oh there will be much more- there are several projects in the pipeline. :)

    I've done a lot of production CNC work in the past (former bicycle parts R&D guy) but for stuff like this where I'm only making one or two I really enjoy machining parts by hand- I find it very relaxing. If you're going to make ten of something then by all means make a print and send it out to a good machine shop you trust. A lot of times with a project like this I'll do a lot of design sketches with some rough dimensions, eyeball everything and then make drawings from the finished parts. It's a little bit backwards but it's sometimes a faster workflow for me, especially when it's the kind of job where everything has to fit just right in a odd shaped casting and it has to have a specific range of motion.

    One thing I always try to do with projects like this is use as many off the shelf parts as possible- I hate things like custom fasteners as it makes it a real PITA when you have to repair something in the field. There are certainly some applications where everything has to be custom made in order to fulfill a design requirement but if you can use a stock part then I almost always go for that option. Makes it easier for other people to replicate your work too.

    Regarding this particular job I knew the head mechanism would perform in a very similar fashion to the movie helmet (it would have all of the required movements and I had already built something similar) but the detail construction would be different. Just different means to an end. The thing about animatronics is that I think you always work backward from the desired movement/effect. It doesn't matter how you get the desired result as long as it gets the job done and is reliable and can be serviced if need be. One thing I've learned is that you really want to avoid having to completely disassemble something to replace a damaged part or servo- that can be a real hassle. And document your work- make wiring diagrams, keep copies of drawings, document your code, etc. because I guarantee you will want or need to reference it later. One advantage of making tutorials for replicating my work is that I always then have an easily accessible online resource for all of that information. And if you share your work then other people will not only replicate but maybe remix/improve it and then you learn something new.
     
  26. SciFiPropFreak

    SciFiPropFreak Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Honus
    thanks, that's some great advice right there!
    You have no idea how much you're helping me with this :D

    Do you have your own CNC machine(s), or "just" traditional ones?

    and yes, as I've been working in a science Lab for 3+ years (with "lasers" :D ) I know that documentation can be a pain in the ... , but it's even worse when you didn't write something down and need to replicate the results later on... :p
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  27. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Always happy to help!

    I'm in the middle of building a small CNC mill as well as a traditional manual mill- both benchtop machines at home. I have a 12 x 20 laser cutter at home as well. At work I have a laser welder and that is an awesome tool to have access to... We're looking at getting a small SLA printer at work and we have a very nice 4 axis CNC at work for machining wax patterns.
     
  28. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Made the head swivel joint today. Tomorrow I'll finish the iris retainers, servo mounts and make the head mount that attaches to the main helmet.

    [​IMG]
     
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  29. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I wish I was more technically-minded so I knew what I was looking at! Always envious of those who got this animatronic-robot-gizmo stuff!:D
     
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  30. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  31. xl97

    xl97 Sr Member

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    yes.. that what it looks like to me in the pics.
     
  32. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Yep- those servos open the iris on each eye. The forward servo is for the head roll. The ball link allows the head to move up/down and left/right- the two small links at the bottom of the ball link mount are for servo control rods.
     
  33. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    More work done. Still a few small bits to iron out and then I'll get to work on making the fans move. That's a tiny 10-32 ball link in the photo- it's threaded into a 3/8" rod and the rod has a collar with a set screw that holds it in place. The collar is positioned at the top of the main helmet body and moving the rod in the collar allows you to adjust the distance between the body and head castings to get the spacing just right.

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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
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  34. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Well as it turns out the servo mounting plate assembly is a tiny bit too wide- I'm going to flip the servos 90 degrees and shorten the servo arms in order to make it fit properly in the main helmet section. I could use the current setup if I changed the servo arms and used smaller end links as it would allow me to position the servos closer together but the smaller 4-40 nylon end links have a tendency to break under higher loads. I hate it when things break so a quick re design is necessary.
     
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  35. helpfulnerd

    helpfulnerd Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Honus, this is just too cool! Looking forward to seeing this come together. :thumbsup
     
  36. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Too cool for words.....
     
  37. Rylo

    Rylo Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very nice!

    -Rylo
     
  38. Barking Dragon

    Barking Dragon Well-Known Member

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    This is going to be amazing ;) Somehow I don't think my Chronicle Anubis will seem as impressive when I get it after watching this tread
     
  39. Mclabop

    Mclabop Active Member

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    Wow, amazing work. Can't wait to see the final.
     
  40. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    To be fair it's hard to compare it against a full animatronic helmet. I don't think there's any way those helmets could be made animatronic without the cost going up exponentially. They would have to produce an awful lot of them in order to amortize the cost to the point where it would be affordable.

    Made a bit more progress today-

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  41. Sean

    Sean Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great update! :thumbsup the machining an mechanisms are awesome .:)
     
  42. GaryArm

    GaryArm Member

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    This is a fantastic example of design and fine machining
    Bravo sir and thank you for sharing
     
  43. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Got the forward servo mounted tonight and made the iris pin retainers.

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  44. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Eye LEDs and driver board showed up today. The LEDs are rated at 3 Watts each (silly bright) and the driver board is a Sparkfun FemtoBuck. The FemtoBuck is a constant current LED driver board that can accept a PWM signal to dim the LEDs.

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    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  45. AGxM

    AGxM Well-Known Member

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    This......but looking forward to the updates regardless! Working my way through SG1 from Season 1 again as we speak.
     
  46. ThePropBox

    ThePropBox Active Member

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    I'm amazed how this looks... I'm amazed how this mechanism works... I'm amazed how you came up with that...

    For the love of god, please upload a short video showing it in action!
     
  47. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Making a video this weekend. :)
     
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  48. caz345

    caz345 New Member

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    Wow, this is truly impressive I would kill for one of these, I was thinking about buying the Chronicle replica myself but it wont even come close to comparing with this. Any chance you want to make another? :D Now that you have it engineered the parts could be cncd and made as a kit. Where did the actual head/ helmet assembly come from though?
    Anyways cant wait to see the video !
     
  49. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Finally getting back to work on this! Wired up the eyes tonight and holy crap are they bright. They're perfect.

    [​IMG]

    My old variable power supply died so I quickly put one together using parts I salvaged from circuit boards in my scrap bin. For a power source I used an old power brick from a HP printer. At some point I'll probably break down and buy a proper bench power supply...

    [​IMG]
     
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  50. Honus

    Honus Sr Member

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    Finished up the eyes. I made a clear sheet lens and added some polyfill behind it and placed it behind the iris. So far I'm pretty happy with how it looks. The pics show the full range of iris motion.

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