built by Mark Medonis

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Target Environment Locomotion Method
Indoors Static
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
joysticks eye movement servos
head movement servos
jaw movement servo
Control Method Power Source
Tethered external power supply
CPU Type Operating System
Intel 80x86 Windows 95/98/NT/2K/CE...
Programming Lanuage Weight
Time to build Cost to build
URL for more information
Maxwell is an animatronic, in that five hobby servos are used to move a puppet head. Two servo are used to move the eyes left/right and up/down, and two servos are used to move the entire head left/right and up/down. The fifth servo opens and closes the jaw.

A BASIC Stamp II is used to read the positions of two joysticks and convert those positions to commands sent to a Mini SSC II servo control circuit from Scott Edwards Electronics. The two joysticks control eye and head motion.

However, the important advance in Maxwell that makes it more robotic than animatronic is the speech system. This is a Visual Basic program that performs both speech synthesis as well as lip sync movement of the jaw on the robot. Both of these happen in real time, so any arbitrary dialogue can be commanded.

These features made Maxwell a very popular interactive exhibit at the San Francisco hobby robot show as well as the Seattle robot club show "Robothon" in October of this year, 1999.


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