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Gadget Freak Case #254: Motion Controlled Blinking Eyes

Gadget Freak Case #254: Motion Controlled Blinking Eyes

This is Mark II of my Animatronic Eyes, which was created for someone who wanted to animate a rock sculpture. The eyes themselves were made with plastic Easter egg tops, which fit perfectly as eyelids over ping pong balls. The problem there becomes one of mounting and alignment. In this version, the eyes do not rotate, because it wasn't requested, but it would not be too difficult to add that feature back in, now that I have this model functional.

The Arduino has a library to control RC servo motors. I included that to manage the motor controlling the eyelid motion. I learned how to use the library from the Arduino programming example, Sweep. The SSC-32 controller used the frequency to specify the servo position; the Arduino library used degrees. That was my biggest adjustment.

Then I connected the motion detector and became familiar with its operation. A simple wiring schematic was drawn, connectors were made, and all that was left was the coding.

As I am an IT professional with a development background, this was easy for me. Remember to outline what you expect the sketch to do and review the limitations, functions, and syntax of the language you are using. I refer to a lot of examples to help me out in this regard.

Do you have a Gadget Freak project you would like the world to see? Send a brief description of your gadget and a photo to Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Muskett.

Click here to view Table 1.

Click here to view Table 2.


Check out the Best of Gadget Freak -- Volume 2 Technology Roundup here to see some of the best gadgets that your peers have created.

When you are finished, be sure to check out Best of Gadget Freak: Vol. 1.

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