The Expressionist UNO

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The Expressionist UNO



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During the course of the week our team was deliberating over finding a solution to get emotions into UNO. Initially our plan of ninja flex would facilitate this need but this fell through due to the unstable nature of the printing. Careful study into emotions allowed us to devise a design that would take advantage of the large space inside the back shell of the head. However, we were unsure what material would allow it to be bent and maintain some strength. By investigating the materials in the laser cutting lab we decided to use polypropylene.

The next step was to design a set of eye brows that would reflect at least three stages of emotions. That being happy, sad and angry. Furthermore careful measurements needed to be taken in order to fit the eyebrows in the head while also being big enough for the servos to attach to.

  • 23rd October 2014
  • Phase 3 - Week 7
  • Team Discovery Channel

After careful designing the team was ready to laser cut the eye brows. The team had gone with a set of eyebrows that could be interchanged depending on his mood. Once the eyebrows had been cut it was then imperative to attach the servos into the back component of the head. The servos were glued to the top of the head. To control the eyebrows the servos were connected to them by a rod ,that when pulled back would pull the eyebrow up. To maintain the shape of the eyebrow the sides were fixed to the inside wall of the head and thus limited any problems that could arise.

The moment of truth arrived as we inserted the front piece of the head. Luckily the eyebrows slid perfectly in front of the forehead and didn’t stretch over his eyes. A little fine tuning allowed the eyebrows to move seamlessly back and forth.

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The next stage in our build was to build and attach the arms to the body area. But before we could do this it was imperative that we applied the servos inside the body and secure them tightly. After we had achieved this the team measured the diameter of the socket for the arm and based all of the measurements and designs off this. However, the previous designs of the arms seen in our earlier blogs did not reflect the level of detail we were after and felt that making the arms a little more realistic would add to the overall feel of the model. It was also important to give the arms some weight so that it could knock over or destroy any structures that are built by the users.



The printing stages of the arm we ran into some technical difficulties regarding the colours of the arm but this can be easily fixed with some paint and does not affect the functionality of the robot. To attach the arms to the servos we decided to use the soldering iron to punch small holes for the servos to sit in. However after much testing we decided to use brackets to connect servos to the holes we made in the plastic for stability.

During the waiting time for the servos the team decided to tackle the soldering of the wires to the board of the 3d pen. By doing this it would give us full control over the pen using our micro-controllers and would make for some exciting interactions later on. However, there was a high risk involved in attempting to solder as it may damage the components for the pen to work. To offset this fear of destroying the pen the team decided to do some research into how soldering can affect the board. With careful precision we were able to solder the wires correctly to the board. To test is functionality we completed the circuit and found that the pen worked.

However, to get the pen to interface with the Arduino and control the on and off states we decided to implement a relay. The relay would change states depending on the amount of fingers the leap motion could detect. It should be noted that the finger gestures were a test and might be changed at a later date.