As seen here, inspiration comes in many forms, and after a trip to Target a year or so ago, Rob Reily found an artificial plastic skull. Since this was around Halloween 2017, this wasn’t particularly strange, but instead of simply using it as an inanimate decoration, he decided to bring it “back” to life with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and computer vision. While a fun project in itself, this new animatronic skull also helps Reiley in his engineering presentations as the aptly named “Dr. Torque.”
Most impressively, the project features an advanced JeVois vision module to track Reily’s movements, and follows him around with a servo mechanism under the control of an Arduino Duemilanove. According to his write-up, he wears a barcode during presentations to facilitate tracking, but even this isn’t absolutely necessary. The JeVois module is capable of identifying and locating everyday objects, though apparently not quite as well.
A Raspberry Pi 3 is used to generate Hedley’s voice, and his jaw is actuated by an Arduino NG board — which takes input from an electret microphone to coordinate movements. One eye socket is filled with the JeVois vision system, while the other contains a three-color LED controlled directly by the Pi.