Built by Wolves for Wolves


TaunTaun Head


TaunTaun Head Casting

The head was cast by Dan, these are pics he sent to me.

     

The first pic also, shows the distance to make the eyes.


TaunTaun Head Armatures

The following are animatronic armatures built for the TaunTaun head. All of the following armatures are built out of half-hard galvanized wire.

Eyes:

The eyes where built as a separate project (see Animatronic Eyes) and then shipped to Dan so he could make the eyelids and cast them into the head.

     

Close up of the eyes in the head:

 

After the eyes where cast into the head, it was sent to me to build and integrate the rest of the animatronics into it. 

Ear Servos:

       

The ears are made of foam rubber, there is a bike brake cable cast into the ear, the servo pulls on this cable which causes the ear to deform.

Servo valves:

   

The TaunTaun also has an onboard fog generator. When the mouth is open the servo controlled valves switch the fogger over to the mouth. When the mouth is closed, the servo controlled valves switch over to the nose.

Testing the servo controlled valves. They are made with regular garden hose Y splitters with valves, however I took out the O-rings in the valves to make it easier for the servos to move them.

Over view of the servo controlled valves, ears and fog routing:

       

Rein pull actuators:

     

Shows how pulling on the reins causes the T bar to move. The last pic shows how much aluminum that I removed to put in the machine screws washers and springs.

Rein pull switches:

 

By pulling the left rein, you turn the head of the TaunTaun left, and activate a micro switch, which causes the eyes to look to the left and causes the tail to swing out to the right. The opposite happens when you pull the rein to the right. Two quick pulls on the reins, (think "Giddy Up" on a horse) causes the master controller to switch into "Moving Mode" it then plays random events more suitable for moving. When you pull both rains back sharply and hold for a second, (think "Whoa" on a horse) this causes the master controller to switch into "standing mode" which causes it to play random events more suitable for standing.

Mouth:

   

An armature was built to hold the mouth to the head, this one left to much of a gap when the mouth was closed. 

     

The rebuilt mouth armature was much better, holding the mouth closed such that there was no more gap.

     

Next an armature was built to hold the mouth servo, and spring.

The spring offsets the weight of the mouth such that it is " neutrally buoyant" when the head is upright.  This allows the servo to easily move the mouth.

       

The head right side up, on its stand, with mouth attached.

   

Speaker installation:

     

Sound system installation:

       

The TaunTaun has an onboard sound effects generator, that plays random recordings of sounds the critter makes in the movies. They are broken down into short sound effects (chatters) and long sound effects (grunts). The sounds are played through speakers located behind the mouth. The mouth opens and closes in sync to the played sound effect.

There is a small board that controls the sound system. I did not make this board, it came with the sound system. 

The board behind it, I made, it contains a level shifter and an amplifier which converts the 1 volt peak to peak line out signal to a 5 volt signal centered at 2.5 volts for the Analog to digital converter on the output board microcontroller. This allows the  mouth to move in sync with the sound. 

System overview:

   

Shows all of the components installed including the speakers for the sound system, and control boards.


TaunTaun Head Controllers

Development servo controller:

   

The development servo controller was used in conjunction with the  Real Time Motion Control System This allowed me to find all the servo armature travel limits. It also let me check mounting clearances for the boards that would actually run the TaunTaun.

Master control board:

         

The master controller is located in the head. It is based on an Atmel ATMEGA16 running at 16 Mhz. The board is powered with 12 volts, which gets converted to 5 volts for the micro. This board also has a MAX232 chip that handles the voltage level translations for RSR-232 communications to the host PC.

This controller talks to the three other control boards via high speed SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface). There are four RJ-45 ports that connect the other boards to the master controller using standard phone cable, only three of the four ports are used. The forth was a spare. 

Other controllers can be plugged into the Master controller board.  It will then negotiate and figure out what the remote board is controlling and assign it an address. Then start passing it the necessary data to it, however this means that each board has different code in it. 

The board also monitors the status of the other boards and coordinates random events triggers between them. 

It also handles all user inputs, (the controls are located in the reins). The input button presses are passed along to the desired servo board so it can act accordingly. 

The following are buttons located in the reins, they are really just to accent the random events, for example if you want the TaunTaun to wink at some one who is looking at it:

Blink left eye, pressing this blinks the left eye.

Blink right eye, pressing this blinks the right eye.

Flick left ear, pressing this flicks the left ear.

Flick right ear, pressing this flicks the right ear.

Open mouth, pressing this opens the mouth.

Play sound 1, pressing this plays a random short sound effect (chatters).

Play sound 2, pressing this plays a random long sound effect (grunts).

Fog, toggles the fog machine on or off.

Random, toggles the random events on or off. 

The board also allows access and direct control of every servo in the TaunTaun via the Real Time Motion Control System, as well as sending back systems states, link activity, and what buttons are being pressed for diagnostics and trouble shooting.

The remaining board are all slave servo controllers, they can not function with out the master controller.

Head servo board:

       

The head controller is located in the head. It is based on an Atmel ATMEGA16 running at 16 Mhz. The board is powered with 12 volts, which gets converted to 6 volts for all the servos and 5 volts for the micro.

This controller has 6 servo channels on it which handles the eyes, eyelids, ears and all random events associated with them.

Output board:

       

The output controller is located in the head. It is based on an Atmel ATMEGA16 running at 16 Mhz. The board is powered with 12 volts, which gets converted to 6 volts for all the servos and 5 volts for the micro.

This controller has 3 servo channels on it which handles the mouth, mouth valve, nose valve and all random events associated with them. It also uses relays to interface to the fog generator. And it also controls the sound system.

The ADC (analog to digital converter) on the micro is used to read in the line level voltage from the sound system. It is then run thru a few digital filters to make the mouth move with the sound effects.

Stacked output and head servo board:

       

Stacked output and servo board, with relays for the fog machine.

       

Interconnects:

       

From left to right, (sound system power and interface) (sound system line out connector) (SPI cables for head servo board, and output board) (finished stacked head boards)

Input controller, with power wires, and an added power LED:

     

Stacked Output and Servo board, with power wires, relays for the fog machine and an added power LEDs:

           


TaunTaun Fog Generator

When I got the fog generator it did not work, so with some replacement parts it was rebuilt.

Old fog Element:

           

Fog generator pump:

   

New Fog generator processor board, next to the old board:

Fog generator rebuild:

             

Head sendoff:

Dan came over and picked up the head.

   

Head painted:

   

Furred head:


videos:

tauntaun_motion_test_small.mpg Testing all the servos in the head with the servo tester.

taunhead1.mpg Testing all the servos in the head with the RTMCS.

taunhead2.mpg Testing all the servos in the head with the RTMCS.

taun_head_rand.mpg Random generator motion sequence test.

taunsound1.mpg Mouth tracking sound test using digital filter settings 1.

taunsound2.mpg Mouth tracking sound test using digital filter settings 2.

taunsound3.mpg Mouth tracking sound test using digital filter settings 3.

taunsound4.mpg Mouth tracking sound test using digital filter settings 4.

tauntest.mpg Random generator motion sequence test with sound system.

P7160090.MOV Random generator motion sequence test with sound system (head and tail, standing mode).

P7160091.MOV Random generator motion sequence test with sound system (head and tail, standing mode).

P4240041.MOV Broken fog generator test.

P5050061.MOV Repaired fog generator test.

P5050062.MOV Repaired fog generator test.


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