Features of my advanced head and sneak peeks

Hey everybody, I figured i would make an official post for progress on the advanced head as well as provide the list of features that are currently in the works.  Spawn is my official tester and, with my permission, might release videos of parts of the advanced head.  The head, at the moment, will be controlled with 28 servos 

Current features in the works:

  • Eye mechanism -   Both eyes should be able to rotate left/right  35 degrees and up/down 25 degrees. There will be 4 eyelids EACH of which can be controlled independently to allow for blinking, winking, squinting, etc.
  • Eyebrow mechanism-  simple eyebrow pieces that will both rotate and translate similar to a human eyebrow. Each eyebrow can be controlled independently.
  • Mouth mechanism-  the mouth mech will run exactly like the one in this video  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke2lJfY4haM)  , with the lip pieces made out of ninjaflex and screwed together.  The jaw will be able to move forward and backward as well. While the video has its own forward/backward movement setup for the jaw, I am custom designing one that will fit inmoov's head.  A realistic lip cover will be provided to hide the controlled lip pieces and to make inmoov's lips look more realistic.  I will also provide ninjaflex covers that go from the jaw/mouth down to the neck mechanism to cover up all the internals of the head.
  • Speaker-  A single speaker will be used in this mod. Due to no space in the mouth or directly near the mouth, the speaker will be placed near the top of the skull and the sound will be funneled down directly into the mouth mechanism. A specific speaker product line, which is reasonably priced and of great quality, will  be used. Links to this speaker line will be provided upon final release. 
  • Teeth and tongue-   The mouth mechanism includes a full set of teeth. Each tooth is screwed in, allowing for easy customization to your inmoov's teeth.   A FULLY animatronic tongue designed by myself will allow inmoov to stick his tongue out, move it left and right, and curl it.  Covers may be provided for the inside of the mouth to create the appearance that inmoov has cheeks inside his mouth
  • Neck mechanism-    I will not be creating a new neck mechanism, however, I am making the head able to be used with both the Drupp neck (available on thingiverse :  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2059967)  and Gael's new neck. 
  • Head-turning mechanism-    A redesign may be in the works for building a belt driven head turning mechanism including a large bearing to make head turning very smooth.
  • Ears-    The ears are being remodeled into two pieces. The first piece is the skull piece which will likely twist in like the original ear pieces (though a different method might be chosen before release). This skull piece will now be flush with the skull and will follow the curves of the head.  The ear itself will be a separate piece that can be printed in ninjaflex to make it bendable like the human ear and can be screwed into the previously mentioned skull piece. The ear canals of these pieces will allow for a single microphone or a microphone array to be inserted. This might allow us to ditch the use of headsets to talk with inmoov. Also I am hoping the mrl community will be able to help me implement a sound localization service to allow for inmoov to find the source of a sound.  
  • Nose -   Nothing is being done in regards to nose movements at this time as they are minuscule and not very necessary for full emotions.  HOWEVER, I am thinking about creating a smelling mechanism. Essentially this would just be a bunch of odor sensors currently available on the market. There could be a possibility that combining the results of these sensors, we could get a limited "smell" identifier created. Though until the technology advances further, it will be quite limited. It can be useful for identifying gas leaks and what not. 

For the most part, I am keeping my designs and assembly instructions secret until release. This mod will be available on thingiverse once finished.

Spawn32's picture

So now i am a video producer

So now i am a video producer as well ? lol

Alexinator40's picture

UPDATE 1

Hello everybody. Spawn and I have been hard at work debugging the mechanical issues of the eye mechanism and, with a helpful suggestion from spawn, I managed to improve the design of the servo holder for the mechanism as well as the mechanism as a whole.

This change involved adding another servo to the mechanism, making the projected total servos for the advanced head now 29.  This extra servo was used to make each eye have its own left/right servo.  What this did for us was improve the range of the eyes, removed some known mechanical problems we were dealing with, and now adds the functionality to both intentionally give inmoov crossed eyes (for whatever purpose you feel like crossed eyes are needed for, lol) and allows inmoov's eye cams to focus in on a specific point (as shown in the diagram  linked  below).  If  we are able to make a vr headset/setup where we  can track our eye movement, my eye mech will make vr use of inmoov's eyes significantly better!  The left/right range of the eyes will  be 35 degrees to each outer corner of the eye and 30 degrees to the inner corners of the eye.  Up/down range will be somewhere around 20-25 degrees up and down.

While i am working on the many other mechs involved in the advanced head at the moment, Spawn has done extensive assembly and testing of the eye mech for me and, while i have stated that we should have a video for all of you really soon, I am certain that within the next day or two, we will be able to post the first-look video of the eye mechanism for all of you to see !   Keep an eye on my conversations with spawn in the shoutbox as well as this blog for new details and sneak peeks!  

https://imgur.com/a/QQNGsK4

Alexinator40's picture

Eye mech first pic

Hey everybody. While Spawn and I (but mostly spawn at the moment XD) are wading through the python scripting for the servos  to make a video of the eye mech soon,  I have a funny, but interesting screenshot of the mech from a short video spawn sent me in testing!

https://imgur.com/a/Ftmw5ZG

Just a note, the lower skull will be one piece instead of the two pieces like the picture shows as that was an older version of the head.

Alexinator40's picture

UPDATE 2

Hello everyone.  I am very happy to announce that the eye mechanism for the advanced head has been finished!!!!!   

Spawn and I had some last minute changes to make, such as moving the eye inward 1mm, which improved the range of the eye balls (around 15 degrees at the servo horn) and centered them better inside the eyelids. The center of the eyeballs can move much closer to the outer corners of the eyes now.   

Since each eyeball can move left/right independently, you could used a "wide-eyed" eye position with dual  Raspberry pi  v2.1,   8 MP cameras in the eyes to provide a much larger visual range, for say security purposes,  without turning the head.   Also,  since the sightline of human eyes cross when focusing on objects, this independent eye movement could help make vr use of inmoov's eyes more comfortable for our visual processing. 

I am also thinking about creating a custom vr headset that includes eye-tracking hardware  so that we can control inmoov's eyes with our eyes.  This concept wont be developed until after the advanced head has been released.   

In any case,  I am pleased to provide everyone with the very first sneak-peek video of the progress of the advanced head (in this case the eye mechanism)!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Spawn32's picture

Twitch on Right eye..

That little twitch you see a few times is the .rest command fu... things up, it dosent always behave like it should, lol

Alexinator40's picture

UPDATE 3

Hey everybody.   If you have yet to see the newest video of the Advanced head, the video below is my finished jaw mechanism,  which was  printed, assembled, tested, and recorded by spawn for you to see in action.  The jaw is able to move forward a maximum of 1 cm from rest position, and the rotation can of the jaw can be applied anywhere along the forward jaw movement range.  The forward movement helps give the head more realistic jaw motions when speaking. At the moment, there is no way for the jaw to translate left and right. Though not a necessary feature, this may very well be added after release.    

The lip mechanisms are currently being built. My original lip mechanism did not satisfy me in realism as I am looking to ensure that the lips can make any shape that a normal human's lips can, particularly a puckering shape for words that emphasize "o" and "w" sounds.  These lip mechanisms are one of the most challenging yet, especially since there is very little room near the mouth for much.   

Currently, the jaw does drop when the rotation servos autodisable, so either I will design a holder for a spring to be attached  to the jaw and the lower skull to help hold it in place,  or I will let the ninja flex (or possibly silicone) skin  that is required for the head  hold the jaw in place.  

The basic structure of the new ears are printed and you can get a glimpse of them in the video below as well . What remains for the ears are edits for attaching a mic array instead of a single mic in the ear canal,  a detached  ear (itself) to allow users to print it in  ninjaflex,  detached ear lobe versions of the ear,  ANDDDDD an ELF ear version of the ear!

Besides the lip mechanisms, what remains to be designed  is the eyebrow mechanisms,  holders for the servo controllers AS WELL as a Gyroscope/accelerometer/magnetometer board,   the skin cover,  and the tongue mechanisms. 

In order to make truly realistic (or very close to realistic) lip movements, another 4 servos will likely be required bringing the total servo count to 33 excluding a head turning servo;   therefore,  the head turning mechanism in the back of the head will likely not suffice anymore due to lack of space.  I am leaning towards using the drupp neck alone to satisfy both the neck twisting/tilting and head rotation as simultaneously turning all 3 servos in the drupp neck in the same direction gives you neck, and consequently, head rotation.   I am also leaning towards the drupp neck as it is the only existing neck mech that will stay under the full neck/head skin cover without sticking out. For those who use nervoboards from Gael, the neck mechanism servos can be attached to the neck breakout boards, thus eliminating the need to attach them to the servo controllers in the head.        For other users who do not want to build the drupp neck , however, I am considering a modified version of bart's neck mechanism where metal threaded rods  push/pull and tilt/turn the head from servo holders on inmoov's back.   This setup will NOT work with the neck cover, so whoever uses it is on their own for redesigning/ modding a cover that would work to cover the advanced head.    NOTE:   Without a silicone or ninjaflex cover, the internals of the head, particularly the teeth, are exposed and are unattractive to look at; therefore, I highly suggest that, upon release, people who uses my mod  get either ninjaflex or a silicone product I will provide a link for to make the skin cover. 

Although we will likely be using more servos than the  2 servo controller boards provide for,  at least two sets of servos have to be modded  and connected via a y-cable    to a single slot on the controllers.   This will provide just enough extra slots to accommodate the extra servos for the lips.  

I can only hope my advanced head becomes popular in the inmoov community so that we can all design cool facial gestures that can be shared with one another.   Please continue to keep watch on this blog as well as well the shoutbox, and any other blog posts I make   :)

 

 

 

MaVo's picture

Thank you, now I will have

Thank you, now I will have nightmares.