I'm in the process of creating a Pokemon Mega Charizard X cosplay. I saw this video on YouTube: , and it really caught my attention. I would love to put similar mechanics for opening the jaw in my costume. I don't know much about animatronics, but I have over a year to make this costume and I'm more than willing to learn. From the video, it looks like the wearer controls the opening of the mouth with their jaw and then the mouth closes automatically. Can anyone give me pointers on how to make something like this?
It looks like it's servo operated to me. I think the strap under the wearer's chin is just there to keep the head on.
Without seeing the exact construction of your costume the way I would do it is have two servos in the head that move the jaw open/close- the trick is getting enough leverage so you don't overload the servos so you may need to use a helper spring to balance the jaw.
I'd use a simple servo board like this one wit ha simple push button switch to operate it- www.sparkfun.com/products/13118 You could also use an Arduino Pro Mini if you want to use something like a bend sensor to trigger it.
If you want to post pics of your costume I can help out more with maybe some diagrams once I see how your costume is designed.
Thank you for the reply! Here is a basic sketch that shows how the head of the costume will be above the wearer's head. LINK: i59.tinypic.com/15qemu0.jpg
I would really like to be able to make the jaw of the costume move when I move my jaw. I'm not looking for anything more than a simple open and close function. The SparkFun servo trigger looks really interesting! I'm definitely going to look into that more!
There are two ways you could use a bend sensor. The first method is to use it as a trigger- you set a threshold value in your code and once the Arduino reads that value from the sensor it tells a servo (or sound board, LEDs, etc.) to perform a function. In this capacity it's basically acting like a switch. This could work as an input device if you were able to mount it in such a way that it would bend when your jaw is fully open or closed.
The second way you can use a bend sensor is to use it as a variable input device. Essentially you can map a servo movement to the amount of bend in the sensor. The trick with this is that you need to bend the sensor a lot in order to get a decent range of values and corresponding range of servo movement. The other catch is that bend sensors are fairly noisy and you might have to do some filtering or averaging in order to get smooth servo movement if you are mapping the servo movement to the sensor value. In this regard the sensor would have a pretty hard time reading your jaw position- you would probably have to have the sensor sewn to a glove so bending your finger made the servo move.