This is the best written and most thoroughly analyzed project I've seen in this series. I'm comparing that to the college projects and the senior engineers that have presented on here! Great job! You'll be a major asset to some big corp someday, or blaze your own trail of success!
You will want to check out a blog I've been following for years. Starting as a 'simple' hobbiest, and now having graduated to making enough money building replica gadgets as a professional Prop creator; http://volpinprops.blogspot.com/2010/07/daft-punk-final.html
Tends to include complete parts, manufacturing methods, photos, and electronics information on nearly all of this projects, including his Daft Punk replica helmets (one is nearly identical to the original that this entry was emulating).
I agree with your analysis. Not only did the project look like fun to build, the creator seemed very bright and charming. I enjoy these things that are built just for the heck of it and the builder does not take him/herself too seriously.
The final showdown is under way in our first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest. Who will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show? It's up to you, dear readers, to tell us.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.