Help with Doctor Who Handles Project
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Help with Doctor Who Handles Project

by ISFLohon on Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:58 am

Hello. I am a Prop Maker who is now looking to dive into making electronics in my projects. I made a helmet based of the longest lasting Doctor Who companion known as Handles. Handles is a head of a Cyberman who can talk back to you. Here is a example of him. Sorry not much audio but you kinda get the point. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_2l10mp29o . The one I made is here in this video of Matt Smith signing Handles! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vflSnWNWPSo So What I am wanting to do is make handles talk and the face light up as he talks. I was thinking of using a tilt ball switch to activate the voice of handles but I just am not sure what the best plan of action is. I have the arduino but I am a complete noob. Any help would be Awesome! Image

Here is a link to my build of the helmet. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.727866843891813.1073741850.549594578385708&type=3
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Re: Help with Doctor Who Handles Project

by adafruit_support_mike on Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:05 am

That is awesome!

If you're new to the Arduino, we have a set of tutorials in the Learning System that will get you up and running, and give you some practice making it do neat stuff.

Our resident madly creative people have done several projects close enough to what you've described to serve as inspiration:

https://learn.adafruit.com/halloween-pumpkin
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-mic ... r-breakout
https://learn.adafruit.com/trinket-soun ... n/overview
https://learn.adafruit.com/led-ampli-tie
https://learn.adafruit.com/vu-meter-baseball-hat

And we have a whole *bunch* of sensors and output devices that you might be able to use.

Best of all though, we have our own prop and costume maker who can probably give you better information than I can. I'll send him a link to this thread.
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Re: Help with Doctor Who Handles Project

by ISFLohon on Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:21 am

adafruit_support_mike wrote:That is awesome!

If you're new to the Arduino, we have a set of tutorials in the Learning System that will get you up and running, and give you some practice making it do neat stuff.

Our resident madly creative people have done several projects close enough to what you've described to serve as inspiration:

https://learn.adafruit.com/halloween-pumpkin
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-mic ... r-breakout
https://learn.adafruit.com/trinket-soun ... n/overview
https://learn.adafruit.com/led-ampli-tie
https://learn.adafruit.com/vu-meter-baseball-hat

And we have a whole *bunch* of sensors and output devices that you might be able to use.

Best of all though, we have our own prop and costume maker who can probably give you better information than I can. I'll send him a link to this thread.



That would be awesome! Thank you so much!
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Re: Help with Doctor Who Handles Project

by ISFLohon on Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:13 am

adafruit_support_mike wrote:That is awesome!

If you're new to the Arduino, we have a set of tutorials in the Learning System that will get you up and running, and give you some practice making it do neat stuff.

Our resident madly creative people have done several projects close enough to what you've described to serve as inspiration:

https://learn.adafruit.com/halloween-pumpkin
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-mic ... r-breakout
https://learn.adafruit.com/trinket-soun ... n/overview
https://learn.adafruit.com/led-ampli-tie
https://learn.adafruit.com/vu-meter-baseball-hat

And we have a whole *bunch* of sensors and output devices that you might be able to use.

Best of all though, we have our own prop and costume maker who can probably give you better information than I can. I'll send him a link to this thread.


All I really need is this. https://www.adafruit.com/products/1759 But I need more than one sound and I can not tell if this allows you to have more than one. It does not say. What do you think?
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Re: Help with Doctor Who Handles Project

by pburgess on Sat Jun 14, 2014 12:18 am

I'd suggest an Arduino Uno and a Wave Shield:

https://www.adafruit.com/products/94

This is not the easiest thing to build and program...however, it's extensively hackable to do what you want. I'm specifically thinking about the LED in the mouth flashing in sync with the dialogue.

I'd start with the example code...get it playing back a series of WAV files, or picking one randomly when a button is pressed (or a tilt ball switch or vibration switch is activated). Then start working on the mouth part...

The reason I'd suggest the Wave Shield (rather than the more sophisticated Music Maker MP3 Shield) is specifically because the code has to "manually" transfer data from the SD card to the audio chip...that affords the opportunity to process the data as its passing through...gauging the audio amplitude, for instance, so you can change the brightness of the mouth in sync.

There are a few guides in the Adafruit Learning System that do this with input from a microphone (LED Ampli-Tie, VU Meter Baseball Hat and Wave Shield Voice Changer (specifically the 'face' code). With a little work, a similar principle could be applied to create WAV-to-brightness code.

It's a bit hairy, so I wouldn't recommend it as a First Arduino Project, but it should be approachable if you take it in stages (e.g. maybe the mouth doesn't flash in sync at first, but you just get it playing back WAV samples).

The Wave Shield can drive a small (1/4W 4 Ohm) speaker. This is sufficient for "up close and personal" use in an otherwise quiet setting...but if you anticipate carrying this to other cons and stuff, a separate amplifier is recommended (an example is shown in the voice changer tutorial, or you can simply use a portable MP3 speaker). Cons are big and noisy!
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Re: Help with Doctor Who Handles Project

by ISFLohon on Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:04 am

pburgess wrote:I'd suggest an Arduino Uno and a Wave Shield:

https://www.adafruit.com/products/94

This is not the easiest thing to build and program...however, it's extensively hackable to do what you want. I'm specifically thinking about the LED in the mouth flashing in sync with the dialogue.

I'd start with the example code...get it playing back a series of WAV files, or picking one randomly when a button is pressed (or a tilt ball switch or vibration switch is activated). Then start working on the mouth part...

The reason I'd suggest the Wave Shield (rather than the more sophisticated Music Maker MP3 Shield) is specifically because the code has to "manually" transfer data from the SD card to the audio chip...that affords the opportunity to process the data as its passing through...gauging the audio amplitude, for instance, so you can change the brightness of the mouth in sync.

There are a few guides in the Adafruit Learning System that do this with input from a microphone (LED Ampli-Tie, VU Meter Baseball Hat and Wave Shield Voice Changer (specifically the 'face' code). With a little work, a similar principle could be applied to create WAV-to-brightness code.

It's a bit hairy, so I wouldn't recommend it as a First Arduino Project, but it should be approachable if you take it in stages (e.g. maybe the mouth doesn't flash in sync at first, but you just get it playing back WAV samples).

The Wave Shield can drive a small (1/4W 4 Ohm) speaker. This is sufficient for "up close and personal" use in an otherwise quiet setting...but if you anticipate carrying this to other cons and stuff, a separate amplifier is recommended (an example is shown in the voice changer tutorial, or you can simply use a portable MP3 speaker). Cons are big and noisy!


Awesome! Ya I Was Hoping To Avoid It Bit Looks Like I Will Have To. Thank You For Your Help :)
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Re: Help with Doctor Who Handles Project

by Robot724 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:14 pm

Hello, your Doctor Who Handles project is very well done. I have been working on a similar idea with a PumpkinHead theme. Here is an example of my "Head": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A37QX50GNUU. The video shows part of a routine I setup to say stuff at random when it detects a change in light level, such as when someone walks by. I used the Adafruit Boarduino and .wav shield to do the talking. I also used the 16 channel servo controller for the servos. The Boarduino was used because of its size, cost and it was easier to wire up (for me) than a full Uno (I had no room to stack them). I used the tutorials to get the software working. It is a work in progress so the code is not optimized very well but you would be welcome to my PumpkinHead code if you would want to take a look at what I have done. The .wav shield was originally setup to play a file based on a key press so something similar could be done with Handles. Dimming or flashing the mouth led could be explored like I did with the mouth servo. Pburgess has great comments, I need to go through his recommendations for my project also. Good luck with your project. Brad
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