Ok, so I’ve got 20 RC servos. What do I do with them? I build a puppet-machine, with twelve servos pulling one string each.
Twelve might seem much, but each string comes out of a fixed hole in the box and can only pull the point it is connected to in one direction. So, in order to move a hand in two axis I need two strings attached to two servos. This way I use two servos for each hand, one for each leg, three for the head and one for the neck, leaving two spare servos for where ever it should be needed. The lower back of the puppet is hanging stationary from two fixed strings and is therefore the base of all movement.
The twelve servos are controlled from a single Arduino board. In the video I use a max patch that let med control each servo from a fader on a midi controller, store positions and crossfade seamlessly between two positions. Later I have programmed positions, transition times and sequences into the Arduino board so the machine can work stand alone. I think I will give it some optical sensors so it can respond to people passing. Lamps are also coming up.
Check the gallery: