translating the audio from the
wireless microphone into the
appropriate jaw movement.
An upcoming article will give
further details on this and several
other controllers, but this gives you a
first look at one of the ways it can
be utilized. This board is quickly
becoming one of my favorites, and I
expect to incorporate it into many
more of my designs.
Actobotics Dual Motor
Controller — A separate controller is
required to handle the drive train
motors. I selected the new dual
motor controller from ServoCity for
this task. It is easy to set up and
provides the necessary link between
the motors and the RC transmitter
and receiver. This is a new product
from ServoCity and a lot of thought
went into its design. You can select
from four separate modes simply by
moving the jumpers. The small size
allows it to be mounted inside the
Actobotics channel which provides a
Wiring — All the servos and the
actuator come with a short wiring
harness already attached. These were not long enough to
reach the receivers, so they needed to be extended.
Ordinarily, I would simply plug an extension to them and be
done with it. Taking into account the fact that I would be
transporting this machine to my speaking engagements
where he would be racing around the convention floor, I
Instead, I cut the wiring harness
and inserted the correct length of
additional wire needed. This created
a very tidy installation and I did not
have to be concerned with hiding
any surplus wire. This had the added
benefit of saving a bit on the build
budget which is always a nice perk.
Lights — I ran a small string of
blue LEDs through the clear tubing
running from the backpack. It is not
a flashy effect, but adds some
interest. Not every item you add to a
prop needs to be “in your face.” I
think it’s important when dressing
your props to layer the
embellishments with some being
more prominent than others.
Audio — I am able to speak
through a wireless microphone which
feeds into the Banshee board. The
audio track is split between the
talking circuit on the Banshee board
and the battery powered speaker
mounted on Jarvis’ chest (Figure 11).
His jaw responds in a very convincing manner and allows
me to communicate with anyone nearby.
Vision — I once again borrowed a method utilized by a
related hobby. The drone community has expanded the
capabilities of their incredible flying machines by adding
lightweight cameras (Figure 12). This setup works
perfectly for me as well, and allows me to see what
is in front of Jarvis if he gets out of my sight. I
follow his progress using an app on my smartphone
which is mounted on one of my RC transmitters.
A GoPro camera is mounted on a pan and tilt
system from ServoCity. One of the transmitter
joysticks controls it and allows me to select the view
from a wide area in front of Jarvis. My first thought
when I was planning the design was to simply
mount a camera pointing forward. The need to
have to turn the robot in order to see to the sides
did not work for me, so the pan and tilt feature was
added. Even though it took up two channels, I am
pleased with the added functionality.
Actobotics — I have been extremely impressed
with the Actobotics components available from
14 SERVO 09.2016
Figure 11. Can you hear me now?
Figure 10. Banshee provides the brains.