power for most of my projects. As my characters continue
to get more complex, I have ventured out and utilized other
The program supplied with the tutorial uses the
Arduino Teensy, so that is what I went with (Figure 11).
Why recreate the wheel when a first rate solution is already
available? I have used Arduinos several times, so I have a
basic understanding of how they are programmed. Even
though my knowledge is a bit limited on this platform, it
was a simple process to load the necessary files and get the
board up and running.
Adafruit also has a great thread in their forum
regarding the use of the eyes. The members are very
responsive and helpful in resolving any issues you may have.
There is also plenty of discussion regarding how to modify
the files to allow for other eye options if you are tempted
to go in that direction.
Putting Them into Action
My first set of these eyes will take its place in one of
my new projects for 2016. The build will be featured in
another article later this year, but you will get a preview of
one of the components here.
It involves modifying a Lindberg model skull. This skull
replica is our primary choice when our plans require a
lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to work with platform. It
also serves as the base for many of our sculpted character
heads. Our plan was to include a three-axis mechanism
along with the animated eyes. In addition, the original
external appearance of the skull would be altered by
applying some artistic sculpting. This ability is outside my
personal skill set, so I enlisted the very creative services of
Robert Risley. He and I have collaborated on numerous
projects, and his originality and creativity continues to
We had decided that we wanted this character to
portray a more sinister appearance than the stock model
exhibited. Using Apoxie Sculpt, Robert took the skull and
did his magic, and soon the character began to take on a
life of his own.
Our original idea was to include a set of mechanical
eyes. These would not interfere with the ongoing
modifications being made to the skull. However, as often is
SERVO 04.2016 45
Figure 14. Hardly
after the surgery.
Figure 13. ProPoxy beds for the screens.
Figure 15. I think they will fit!