The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has been out for more than a week now and most of us have been too busy looking under rocks for Korok seeds to pay much attention to anything else. But while we were distracted diving into dark chasms, Naomi Pentrel was revisiting the world of Breath of the Wild in order to create something great. They 3D-printed a Guardian and integrated electronics to make it track people and dogs — just like the ancient creation would do if it were real.
Guardians were a big part of Breath of the Wild, but they are all but non-existent in Tears of the Kingdom. Instead, we get constructs. Those are pretty cool, but they don't inspire the raw terror that the Guardians did. In Breath of the Wild, Guardians were ancient technology — automatons that would attack Link if they registered his presence. This 3D-printed Guardian recreates that fear through movement, sound effects, and lighting that should be very familiar to those of you who played the game.
Even before seeing a video of this Guardian in action, you have to admire the craftsmanship of the model. To make it look as authentic as possible, Pentrel carefully painted it and placed it within a small diorama of Hyrulean landscape. They even added moss and grass to give the model texture.
But when you watch the video, you can see the Guardian come to life. Like the in-game enemies, it emits blue light while looking around. When alerted — maybe by an unassuming spouse or Fido — it switches to red lighting and begins playing the "oh crap, I'm about to get lasered" music and sound effects. The head turns until it finds its target, at whomit will continue to stare. Luckily for passersby, Pentrel was kind enough not to equip this Guardian with a functional laser beam.
To lighten the workload, Pentrel started this build with a Guardian model designed by steveut that has a rotating head. They modified that to fit a camera into the head with the help of a friend. A Raspberry Pi 4 Model B looks at the world through that camera and uses a machine learning model included in Viam's software ecosystem to detect people and dogs. It rotates the head using an FS90R servo motor, illuminates common-cathode RGB LEDs, and plays sound effects through a powered speaker.
This project may be a little out of date considering that everyone's focus is on Tears of the Kingdom right now, but it is still very impressive and it makes us want to play Breath of the Wild for the third time.