Creatures Update

I’ve been working a lot on building this creature, and figuring out the structure.
This is my first attempt using wood, hinges and strings.
A quick model to figure out the proportions, and the structure.
progress-blog.002First arm Attempt.
I found an open source robotic arm. 

I first edited the file to fit mg995 motors, and mg90s. I choose them because of their metal gear heads in order to deal with the pressure of human touch.
For the first test I used foam board for rapid prototyping.
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Moving on to plexiglass. This is about my 15th cut. 
A motor in the wrist, elbow and 2 in the shoulder for a pan and tilt motion.
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Then I added fingers, connected just springs, to get there slight movement.
I switched all if the screws and standoffs to nylon, in order to reduce weight. 
Trying to make the arm as light as possible.
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I’m using mpr121, a capacitive sensor that allows me to have 10 different places of touch, using just 2 pins on the Arduino.IMG 4785 from Talya Stein Rochlin on Vimeo.

So the arm works. And I’m not happy.
You’d think having the name file Robotic Arm, would have given me a hint that the movement would feel and look like of a robot.
I could continue working on the code, and get smoother movement, but this isn’t close to the organic smooth movement I want the creature to convoy.
RoboticArm HiFive from Talya Stein Rochlin on Vimeo.

The open source files can be found here:
RoboticArm
Arduino

“The artist never entirely knows — We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark” –Agnes de Mille

After seeing a youtube video of building a robotic hand out of wax, I thought this is the movement I was looking for this creature.

IMG 4805 from Talya Stein Rochlin on Vimeo.

During the Stupid Hackathon I built with Rios, and Andrew an ET strap on which would light up when they touch.
I’m going to give the idea of this one to Rios and Andrew. 
Though I did think this was moving in the right direction…
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ET StrapOn
from Talya Stein Rochlin on Vimeo.

I then tried using to make the whole movement out of 2 motors in the shoulder for a pan and tilt motion. This is a simple mechanism of using one motor to pull the whole hand.
I was still not happy with the movement.
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IMG 4814 from Talya Stein Rochlin on Vimeo.

IMG 4815 from Talya Stein Rochlin on Vimeo.

Next I tried to build my own pivot hinge using 2 wire rings, connecting them with a screw, connecting 2 aluminum tubes. 
I found these beautiful pivot hinges at Simon’s hard-wear store in NY. They are strong and beautiful. They actually make quit complex movement. It is an extendable pivot hinge.
Even though I oiled the joints, I had to pull with a lot of force to get some movement.
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IMG 4823 from Talya Stein Rochlin on Vimeo.

After a sleepless week, at 5:35 in the morning I understood I can revise my sketches.
I forget I drew them.
In any given time I can draw a new one.
Why does the creature have to have a human arm?
I want the feeling of touch to be something that raps you.
Tentacles are the answer!
IMG 4831 from Talya Stein Rochlin on Vimeo.

I learnt how to build the tentacle from an online class on Cable MechanismBasics – Tentacles, taught by Richard Landon.
Xuedi Chen and Pedro Oliveira are giving me a lot of advise. I’m learning from their experience building The Window Licker (collaborated with Todd Bryant, William Lindmeier & Norah Solorzano). 
I’m using a nylon tube for the middle spine, laser cutting the skeleton, and using thin piano wire (0.018 gage) to pull the tentacle.

IMG 4840 from Talya Stein Rochlin on Vimeo.

This is my inspiration picture of the Touch Creature.
It is a Bornella anguilla. A genus of sea slugs.
I’m planning to Cast the skeleton with silicon, and add color, leaving the skeleton visible.
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