PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley - 05.09. - Painting and Weathering!

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ThePropBox

Active Member
Hi everyone! :)

Since I’m finished with my Gravity Gun replica (http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=239884) I’m starting a new project because it feels it would be the right time to try out some new things I learned in the near past. And by that I mean motorizing stuff by using stepper motors, servos, drivers and all of the controlling which comes with it.
Haven’t done anything like this in any of my projects before so I ordered myself some steppers and started playing around a little bit; to see what is possible and what isn’t :)

That gave me the inspiration to start on this very project, a completely animatronic version of Wheatley, the humorous robotic sphere you definitely know if you ever got to play one part of the Portal series by Valve.
Back when I worked on the Gravity Gun I already started drawing all kinds of sketches to give me an idea how I could tackle the project at best. Wheatley isn’t a quite difficult character to construct when it comes to his overall shape but the challenge definitely lies in working out his internal mechanics.


I have studied Wheatley’s behavior quite a bit and came to the conclusion that a few of his moves are impossible to recreate while keeping the inside clean and not having it stuffed with mechanical parts, gimbals, gears and motors.
Luckily @Fishbowl here on the forums was such a great help on the overall project by providing me with detailed views of Wheatley’s model from the game. Thanks you ever so much man, I really do owe you one :)

After weeks of thinking, trying and fooling around I came up with a mechanism which will hopefully fit perfectly inside Wheatley without compromising in variety of his movements too much.
It’s not yet done to 100% but I’m so hyped for this project so I couldn’t wait any longer to get it started. I’m sure a few things will change while working on it but basically the main stuff is done already.

What I came up with so far is as follows; all of it has been done in AutoCAD and 123D Design. Like I said it’s not finished completely but the only major thing which is left to be done is constructing the eye-part and all the mechanics in it.
I will explain the mechanics which are used to move the parts as I go along with the process.

Here's a brief overview of the model so far.

sketch5.jpg


sketch1.jpg


sketch8.jpg


sketch9.jpg


sketch4.jpg


sketch3.jpg



The purple thing is a micro servo which is used to pull the upper and lower bars on wheatleys front up and down. Same setup on the lower side.

sketch2.jpg


sketch11.jpg




And here's a little animation :)

wGIF.gif



What will be possible function-wise is as follows:


  • Moving the eye-corpus 25° in every angle possible from its original position.
With the Movement of the eye-corpus both vertical and horizontal rails move too.

  • Moving the eye-pupil 15° in every angle possible from its original position. Rails move too.

  • Moving Wheatleys eye-lids independently from fully open to nearly fully closed.
I can’t make them shut completely due to the lack of space inside the corpus. There will be a gap of around 5mm left.

  • Rotating the “bucket” in Wheatleys backside around 40° to the left and right.

  • Moving Wheatleys front bars on the top and bottom independently to get even more expression.

  • Having a proper sound module embedded to bring Wheatley to life and add personality.

  • Controlling Wheatley via a remote app.

  • Voice regonition.

  • Using Wheatleys “flashlight”-function as seen in-game.


Now to the compromises I had to take due to stability issues:

The inner sphere won’t move back and forth as it does in the game since I would need a fixed anchor point to rotate the sphere around. I could use the outer shells for that but the reason they aren’t really strong nor do they connect to form a robust volume I scrapped this idea (for now).
I open for any ideas though! Shoot them at me!


However, let’s get started with the project!

I started with the idea of roto-casting both of Wheatley’s spheres from Smooth-On 65D but scrapped the idea fairly quickly as I started working on the 3D model. Reason behind that is simply the amount of additional detail and functionality I need to build up within the spheres themselves; be it channels to route and hide cables, have certain holes and flanges integrated in them to fit several bearings, you name it!

As 3D printing is a thing now I decided to have the spheres printed in their full glory!
I haven’t done any 3D printing before but got a hold of things quite quickly and so I started working on the 3D model of Wheatley which came out pretty well for my first try on 123D design *pats myself on shoulder* :D
The printer itself is in my case a Wanhao Duplicator i3, a pretty low-priced yet awesome quality printer which got an 200x200x180mm build volume. Was going for a Lulzbot TAZ5 first, but the price wasn’t justified in my opinion as it’s five times as expensive as the Wanhao.

Let’s continue. Here are the finished outer shells which are going to get attached by magnets and hold onto the inner, thicker sphere. The magnets are seated inside the pockets along the mounting rail. So it’s quite easy to remove if some work on the inside needs to be done.


sketch6.jpg



I thought a lot about how to print the shells in the best way possible and the build volume of my printer happens to be perfectly in size for splitting up the two outer shells in only three parts each.
And the ring can be printed as one part!

sketch10.jpg



The two pocket holes in the inner sphere will contain magnets aswell to have the outer shells align better and give them a good hold.

sketch7.jpg



The curved bumps on the inside are for putting bearings inside them. Those are used for having the rods of Wheatley’s upper and lower bars on the front rotate smoothly.
The movement itself will be done by using servos, but more to that later on.

sketch12.jpg



Here you can see one part of the outer shell barely fits on the bed of my printer!

3ddruck.jpg


:lol :D

3ddruck2.jpg


Sorry for the text avalanche but I’m so exicted to show you what I’m going to have next sitting on my workbench :)
I will be on vacation next week, however expect an update in the week after!

Cheers to all of you and thanks for checking out! :)

Mario

sketch5.jpg


sketch1.jpg


sketch8.jpg


sketch9.jpg


sketch4.jpg


sketch3.jpg


sketch2.jpg


sketch11.jpg


sketch6.jpg


sketch10.jpg


sketch7.jpg


sketch12.jpg


3ddruck.jpg


3ddruck2.jpg
 
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Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica

And subscribed.

I have the the full audio rips from the game if you're interested, you know where to find me.
 

joberg

Master Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica

Very detailed project you've got there! Love it already:)
 

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zapwizard

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica

I can't wait to see the design come together fully. The CAD design is great so far, I didn't know 123D could get that complex.
 

B Wo

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica

Your Wheatley will not only be animatronic, but also wisecracking, This is an impressive undertaking. I can't wait to see you bring such a beloved character to life!
 

ThePropBox

Active Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica

http://i.imgur.com/voCrYeY.gif

I hope to meet your expectations haha.


And subscribed.


I have the the full audio rips from the game if you're interested, you know where to find me.

DUDE AWESOME!
I'll definitely drop you an mail regarding that. Thanks so much man, really appreciated! :)


Will look amazing :p

I hope so :)


Very detailed project you've got there! Love it already

Thanks man! Great you're excited, cannot wait to get it actually started!


I can't wait to see the design come together fully. The CAD design is great so far, I didn't know 123D could get that complex.

Mr. PipBoy himself, what an honor! Welcome onboard! :)
I'm following every step on your PipBoy in awe and I have to say I've NEVER seen this level of dedication at any replica before. Hands down, you're simply an inspiration for everybody out there in the prop/replica scene. Cheers to Texas!

And thanks a lot for the kind words, that's actually my first try besides a few hours of mechanical engineering back in school using ProEngineer and CATIA.


Your Wheatley will not only be animatronic, but also wisecracking, This is an impressive undertaking. I can't wait to see you bring such a beloved character to life!

It definitely will! :D I'm currently deciding if I should go with the option to have it controlled via a remote control as you wish or pre-defined movements and audio.
Thanks a lot anyway and welcome onboard!
 
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Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica

@propbox It's the least I can do. I had other projects in mind for them and never got there. They're great to have.
 
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Fishbowl

Well-Known Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica

Awwwwwwwwwwwww yeeeahh!

Here we go, so psyched for this project! The 3D stuff has come on quite a bit since I last saw it :D

EDIT: Just saw VALVe got in contact with you about your Gravity Gun. Told ya' ;)
 

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ThePropBox

Active Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica

@propbox It's the least I can do. I had other projects in mind for them and never got there. They're great to have.
Definitely! I have recorded a few of them just to test the speakers I bought off eBay but the actual files are a must-have!

Awwwwwwwwwwwww yeeeahh!

Here we go, so psyched for this project! The 3D stuff has come on quite a bit since I last saw it :D

EDIT: Just saw VALVe got in contact with you about your Gravity Gun. Told ya' ;)
Haha yeah I was getting quite used to working with 123D since I last showed you them :lol It's a great program considering the fact it's totally free.

DUDE I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT! Never even expected this happening in the slightest! :D
 

KennyZ

Active Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica

I'm currently deciding if I should go with the option to have it controlled via a remote control as you wish or pre-defined movements and audio.
Thanks a lot anyway and welcome onboard!
I'm planning to do pre-defined movements with Space Core since he's just a space fact spewing core. Seeing as Wheatley is a huge interactive part of the game I can see where people would be disappointed that he doesn't respond directly to them. Maybe a dual system where he sits and rambles (like in the game) and interactive where you can select some phrases and movements that correspond questions or people?

Subscribed, I can't wait to see more.
 
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ThePropBox

Active Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica

I'm planning to do pre-defined movements with Space Core since he's just a space fact spewing core. Seeing as Wheatley is a huge interactive part of the game I can see where people would be disappointed that he doesn't respond directly to them. Maybe a dual system where he sits and rambles (like in the game) and interactive where you can select some phrases and movements that correspond questions or people?

Subscribed, I can't wait to see more.
After a little bit of thinking I'm totally into actually controlling Wheatley via a remote control.
Haven't done anything like that before but it shouldn't be that much of a hassle. Thanks a lot for your input dude! :)

Any chance I could snag those 3D printer files from ya? :D
Nope haha, sorry! :D
 

ThePropBox

Active Member
PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica - 17.01. - Printing & stuff!

Hey everyone! :)

I know it's quite late in the mid of January but I still wanted to say that I hope everyone had a great Christmas time with their loved ones.
I for myself have been on vacation for two weeks so not really any progress was done in the Christmas break but I started working on the 3D model after everyday life happens to be a thing again ;)

The model has been tweaked quite a lot when it comes to details and the mounting mechanisms which should hold it all together. To be honest that's quite tedious and I have to push myself everytime to actually do it but it will definitely pay off in the end.

However, enough of that. Let's talk pictures cause that's what you're here for :D

I decided to startwith printing the outer shell first to give me an actual understanding how big Wheatley is going to turn out in the end. All my sizing was calculated on an outer diameter of 350mm which turns out to be WAY too small.






For inital measurement I bought myself two hemispheres with an diameter of 350mm and put them together. It was a proper size until you take in consideration that Wheatley's shells aren't actual full hemisphere's but rather have cut-out's on every side; which makes them appear A LOT smaller.

So I decided to pump Wheatley up for around 20% which resulted in an outer diameter of 420mm - which is perfectly fine. That meant I had to remodel every hole, every motor mount, every groove for a bearing.




Unfortunately this enlargement made me cut Wheatley's outer shell into five segments each to actually be able to get printed. Since the thickness of the shells raised too this gave me the option to use better connection/mounting-options to actually connect all the parts to one bigger part.

All those parts are connected using 3mm and 6mm aluminium rods.
I will get you guys some better shots later this week; just wanted to give you a quick heads-up :)










And here's the groove for one of the bearings which will hold the upper one of the front bars.




While I was modeling on Wheatley I went shopping and got myself some nice fancy parts!
All of them haven't arrived yet but I'm gonna show you the one's which are already here.

First of all the motors; this one is going to be used to make the whole inside turn around on its own axis. 50° in every direction from its origin. This stepper motor is a bipolar NEMA23 and can carry around 1,5kg.




This little one will be used to move Wheatley's face from left to right.




And those one's here... aw I love them. Those also are stepper motors which got an amazingly hight torque and are used in industrial stirrers and stir-applications.
Don't ask where I got them from... :lol

In my case they will tilt Wheatley's face up and down and are mounted on the rails.




Not stopping there. Some micro-servos are also needed for certain tasks like for Wheatley's eye-lids and his upper and lower bars.




To support all the motors I got myself some axial needle rollers and bearing washers.
How they're going to used later on will be shown in one of the next updates.

The big one is 155mm in diameter, the middle one 110mm and the small one 64mm.
I had luck with all of them when buying since I got them nearly "for free". Usually the big one is priced around 150€/$ whereas I paid only 8 bucks including the washers. The shop I was ordering them from did the inventory and sold all the spare bearings with a 95% (!!!!!) discount!
Fortunately they had from every axle bearing I needed one left :)





And some more... just in case :lol




Controller-wise I'm going to build myself a remote control using XBees and two Arduinos to keep the transmitting all digital from the beginning (excluding the analog inputs).
Here's the Arduino Mega which will get stuffed into Wheatleys back (image below); working on that now.
The smaller PCB is the audio controller.





Parts should arrive this week; will keep you updated :)

Thanks for checking out guys!
Mario
 
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Gixxerfool

Well-Known Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica - 17.01. - Printing & stuff!

This is exciting. I'm still working on my sketch.
 

zapwizard

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica - 17.01. - Printing & stuff!

Note to self, take sexy macro photos when putting together my next project.

It looks great. Those bearings are insane.
 

ThePropBox

Active Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica - 17.01. - Printing & stuff!

This is exciting. I'm still working on my sketch.
Awesome, I just had the time to check out your progress in your thread including all the videos and it's great to see that you're coming along with your project :)

Note to self, take sexy macro photos when putting together my next project.

It looks great. Those bearings are insane.
:D
Thanks a lot man, great to hear you're enjoying it so far.
Cannot wait to drop you guys even more pictures of the progress so far. My 3D printer is running non-stop right now to get side panels finished...
 

Flyscriber

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica - 17.01. - Printing & stuff!

looks totally awesome, at this rate the portal should be real in a few weeks, any ideas on quantum tunnelling. :)
 

joberg

Master Member
Re: PORTAL 2 - Animatronic Wheatley Replica - 17.01. - Printing & stuff!

Wow, those motors are all sexy and those bearings (I thought I wouldn't be excited with those, but man...:D). It all looks great from where I stand and I'm very impatient to see it all come together, of course!
 

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