Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Been a while! And: fun video from Eric

Posted in Uncategorized on February 10, 2012 by raphaelabrams

Yes, I DO think I can space my posts one year apart!

Here’s a really very nice video that Eric Skiff made that features me and one of my creations.



Posted in arduino, servos, Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 by raphaelabrams

The eyes now blink automatically. They will flit closed semi-randomly with minimum and maximum time spans between blinks. When the puppeteer wants to take over, they can be switched to manual mode.

How about some code!

unsigned long last_time = millis();
unsigned long time = millis();
unsigned long autoblinkdelay=1000;
unsigned int blinkingnow=0;
void loop(){

//do some other things in the loop here//

//now, the blinking stuff:

  time = millis();  //get the current time in milliseconds
  if ((time-autoblinkdelay)>last_time){
    blinkingnow=autoblink_duration;  //fill up the blinking timer, when it reaches zero the eye will open back up
    autoblinkdelay=random(autoblink_mintime,autoblink_maxtime);  //randomly select how long until the next blink
    last_time=time; //holder for comparing times in the next iteration of the loop
  if(blinkingnow){  //is "blinkingnow" empty? if not, keep eye closed
  else{  //open the eye!
  delay(4); //delay to let the servo have time to get where it goes

Heads up display is getting there…

Posted in system, Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 by raphaelabrams

We’re using this screen:

It’s a bit low contrast and the pixels are chunky. But it’s small, thin and light. And cheap! The image on the screen is being fed via composite signal from that black blob to the lower right of the photo. The one with the red paint smear on it. It’s not a pinhole camera, but it has such a small lens that it behaves a lot like one. Both of them run together on a pack of eight AA batteries.

Crude, but Effective

Posted in servos, silicone, software, Uncategorized on April 29, 2010 by raphaelabrams

Those wiggles in there are from that stupid error I made in the software. It’s fixed now!

Servo control board!

Posted in robotics, servos, Uncategorized on April 27, 2010 by raphaelabrams

Here’s a circuit board I designed for robots and animatronics. It’s an AVR chip with the Arduino firmware flashed onto it. It has eight servo hookups on it, and a handful of analog and digital inputs. It’s tiny and reliable. I’ll be using it as the motherboard for this project. You may know it as the Twitchie.

In this image is the battery compartment, two servos, a potentiometer with a wad of red duct tape on it and the circuit board. Just in case you’re wondering, it’s running at 16MHz, has voltage regulation for the chip, direct power connections between the servos and the battery case (servos like a few more volts than microcontrollers to really get them going) and is clad in a very dashing shiny black solder mask.

Wiggly minions, I bring you LIFE!

Posted in analog, arduino, robotics, servos, sound, Uncategorized, update on April 26, 2010 by raphaelabrams

Hi folks! This is Raphael Abrams here! I’m an artist living in Brooklyn, doing all kinds of odd skilled labor to make a living. I teach electronics at NYC Resistor (I’m a co-founder), design open source electronic kits, do contract electrical engineering and when I get the chance I try to make art.

This blog will serve as a record of my new adventures in animatronics and puppetry. I’ll be sharing what I learn, and I hope you might be able to find something useful!