The foam is a good idea. I had to make this in short order out of supplies around the house and tried using some springy stuff for the wrist but it was hard to get a consistent movement, so just made it rigid. Not a new idea, I know, but had fun with it.
I saw a fun one a few years ago for the 4th of July. It was a battery operated fan that would display animation of fireworks when the fan was running. The fan blades were a flex circuit with RGB LEDs that produced the animation. I wanted to say that it was a very cool toy, but that would be an awful pun even if it wasn't intended.
My kids had such a toy MANY years ago. You swung this paddle shaped object back-and-forth and it displayed your keyed in text using LED's. In the dark your eyes provided the persistence to make a stable image.
(My youngest is about to turn 39 years old... so this was quite a long time ago.)
Instead of pine, it might be better to use styrofoam. Seams the weight would waer on your wrist after a while. Another improment would be to use a spring steel joint between the handle and the "hand". That way, a little motion would set the hand into action with less strain on the wrist. Just a though for anyone concidering to build this.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
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.