Steampunk attributes. My plans did not include him
having any humanoid traits. However, while sharing my
thoughts with fellow builder, Robert Risley, he convinced
me that the design would be improved if at least the
head was human. We discussed it at length and finally
settled on using a skull, but only after Robert
volunteered to build it. I had not intended to recruit any
help for this project but when someone with his talent
offers, you are wise to accept!
He did a fabulous job in creating a skull to fit with
Jarvis’ back story. I am promoting him as a character
whose life has been extended beyond death. His mind is
preserved and combined with a mechanical body,
allowing him to live on. Robert’s additions to the skull
along with the perfect paint job really brings Jarvis back
to life. He has even included a glowing brain (Figure 7)!
Robert has put together a photo gallery
documenting the progress of the head build. You can
find it at http://tinyurl.com/z5kuqjt.
Eyes — Since I have discovered the electronic eyes
that utilize the mini screens, I have switched to them and
have not looked back (maybe pun intended; see
Resources). I go into detail on these in the April 2016
issue of SERVO, so you can check it out if you are
interested in more info.
I did utilize the TFT LED displays for this project. For
the price, they are hard to beat. Although the OLED
breakout boards provide better color, I am prone to save
some money and go with the less expensive screens.
They work well for my needs and they also perform
better if you are trying to get video of your project.
While assembling the head, Robert added sculpted
mounts for the eyes which allowed them to be removed
if they ever need service (Figure 8). I also added a 500
mAh lithium-ion battery to my shopping list. Adafruit
stocks a handy USB charger that makes my life a bit
easier for less than $6.
Paint — Robert and I went back and forth on what
we thought the final product should look like. The
original concept was to finish him with a weathered and
worn look like he had seen a long hard life. We finally
decided to go with a new and better maintained
All the surfaces were gently sanded and primed
before painting (Figure 9). Robert decided to go with a
combination of gold, silver, and bronze metallic paint.
The colors complemented each other well, and went a
long way in producing the effect we were seeking.
Controllers — The Banshee three-axis controller
from Haunt Hackers (see Resources) furnishes the
integral commands necessary to give the head its
random motion (Figure 10). It is also responsible for
SERVO 09.2016 13
Figure 8. Cradles and springs hold the eyes in place.
Figure 7. I’m alive!
Figure 9. Prepping before the final paint job.