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A project to create a human sized animatronic character from only laser cut mechanics and off the shelf hobby servos.
A project to create a human sized animatronic character from only laser cut mechanics and off the shelf hobby servos.
113 backers pledged $15,232 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Stuart Sato on March 31, 2013

      I just started building the fingers for my arm and I am missing a white delron ball and the longer of the finger pins. are there extras included somewhere in the kit?

    2. Brian Roe Creator on January 23, 2013

      Great work everyone! It is so cool to hear about the kits in the wild.
      @Jerry I. & Galatea
      About the twitching and overheating, The most important thing you need to do with any of the servos is to limit their travel in the control software. The swing of the servo arm is more than needed to actuate the finger. Make sure you set your software limits just short of the binding point of the mechanism. If the servo is buzzing back it off a little until it stops. This should be done for open and close. With my limits set correctly I was able to run my Roy animation almost nonstop for 2 days last year at maker fair and never had a servo fail. If you have a servo that won't stop buzzing no matter what position it is in, it may be bad. Let me know and I will get you a replacement. Hope this helps.
      As far as servo upgrades go, I am not sure what will work as a replacement. It is on my list of things to do. I know people will want to go to a more powerful metal gear servo, I just have not had the time to figure out what will work. Maybe one of the Hitecs.
      Happy Building,

    3. Missing avatar

      Galatea on January 23, 2013

      @ Tieg Z. Nice work and thanks for sharing.

      @Jerry I.
      Thanks for the feedback:
      “Several servos started twitching after it had been left running w/o interaction for a dozen or so minutes. We kept unplugging it so the servos would not overheat.”

      Has anyone else experienced the overheat issue within the context mentioned above or other? Curious to know if this is an isolated incident or if something can be done prior to building by swapping servos with higher ratings.

    4. Tieg Zaharia
      on January 17, 2013

      @Jerry that rules, I'm really glad to hear that was used!!! If I can get time one of these days I think it'd be cool to hookup Roy to the LEAP controller, and be able to control the fingers at all angles rather than just on/off. :D

    5. Jerry Isdale on January 17, 2013

      Used Tieg Zaharia's Makey Makey and Meet Roy as one of the displays in our TEDxMaui booth this past weekend. It was pretty cool... although the build/coding finished about 6 hours before we had to setup... i did get some sleep.
      The pinkie seems to be backwards acting from other fingers
      and several servos started twitching after it had been left running w/o interaction for a dozen or so minutes.
      we kept unplugging it so the servos would not overheat
      It got almost as many OOOoooOOOOhs as our RepRap, and more than the Raspberry Pi.

    6. Tieg Zaharia
      on January 1, 2013

      got MaKeyMaKey working with all 6 fingers of the hand!! I put up a video for a contest to demo it (url to the code is included):…

    7. Missing avatar

      Jared L on December 27, 2012

      The arm is even cooler than I thought it would be. I can't wait to have a fully functioning Roy! Bring on the shop (or another Kickstarter Project) :)

    8. Danny Oakley on December 22, 2012

      Brian thanks for sending the part! Here's a video testing the servos on my arm with arduino as the controller.

    9. David Gaipa
      on December 12, 2012

      Does that survey mean that the Assembled arm displays are shipping out soon?

    10. Brian Roe Creator on December 12, 2012

      @Danny, I will put it in the mail today. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    11. Danny Oakley on December 11, 2012

      Hi, I received my arm on Fri and it's awesome. Though after a parts check, I'm missing the smaller plastic linkage for the index finger. Would you be willing to mail one?

    12. Brian Stott on December 1, 2012

      Will arms go out soon?

    13. Tieg Zaharia
      on November 12, 2012

      @Brian and @Brian S, I was able to get the fingers working with Makey Makey over the weekend. I'll put up my forked version of the Makey Makey repo soon.

    14. Brian Roe Creator on November 9, 2012

      @Brian S., To get your hand up an moving you will need to purchase some sort of control electronics. I use a PSC (Propeller Servo Controller) from Parallax. There are many other options to go with, just do some searching for hobby servo control. I like the PSC because it is already set up to interface with the software I use to do the animation programming. This is VSA (Visual Show Automation) from Brookshire Software. Info can be found here.
      @Tieg, Yes I plan to offer everything in an online store at I just have not had the time to set this up. Soon I hope. I have had a few people offer to help, I just need to take them up on it.

    15. Tieg Zaharia
      on November 6, 2012

      Got my hand yesterday and having a lot of fun putting it together! Great job with the packaging too. @Brian, I was curious if you'll eventually have an online store to buy extra pieces / more hands?

    16. Brian Stott on November 4, 2012

      I was doing reading in hopes to see a soon delivery date. What I read caught me. It was, --- Buy Animation software.

      What is that written in, for and how run?

    17. Brian Roe Creator on October 29, 2012

      Galatea, Great tip. Thanks! I will have to try some of the Debonder. Even if it is just for removing my human fingers from Roy's fingers when I glue myself to a part. It happens more that I would like to admit. I to am curious about peoples progress on the assembly.

    18. Brian Stott on October 28, 2012


      19 days since last update. How is production? Congrats on getting fingers shipped.


    19. Missing avatar

      Galatea on October 28, 2012

      Has anyone started to assemble any of the kits? If so, how are you fairing with the project? Until the forum is up and running it would be interesting to hear about your experiences, ideas and tips! :)

      I don’t have Roy’s arm yet, but I am looking forward to it.

      See my tip below...

    20. Missing avatar

      Galatea on October 28, 2012

      For the people who are using or are planning to use the INSTA-CURE Super Thin Cyanoacrylate:

      There is also the UN-CURE Cyanoacrylate Debonder available which could help with mishaps:

      I have not tried it myself, but I am planning to get it.

      I hope this helps.

    21. Missing avatar

      Mark Voevodin on October 15, 2012

      2 finger kits arrived here yesterday in Australia. Well packed, all looks good. Now to watch the assembly video.
      Thanks Brian for all your efforts.

    22. Brian Roe Creator on October 9, 2012

      I am working on an update currently. I will post in the morning.

    23. Paul O. on October 7, 2012

      Any updates for the people that backed the arm display?

    24. Mark Smith on October 4, 2012

      Brian, Got the finger today! Congratulations, and, Thanks. package says instructions are at a link in the update, but I see no link. Printing out the first draft instructions from an earlier update is not the right size for the parts identifier. Where are the final versions of the instructions? I apologize if I missed it. Again, congratulations!! -- Mark

    25. Michael Meissner on September 19, 2012

      No problem, I've backed a few other kickstarter projects recently, and I couldn't remember if Roy was waiting for a response from me.

    26. Brian Roe Creator on September 19, 2012

      I have you down for 2 fingers. I have not sent out surveys yet, soon. I am working on an update right now. I hope to have it out in the next few days.
      Thanks for everyone's patience.

    27. Michael Meissner on September 17, 2012

      I don't think I ever got the survey to give you the shipping address. Have you sent out the survey yet? Do you have an update of when you would expect to start shipping? I pledged $40 to get 2 index fingers, as we talked about in mail around July 2nd.

    28. Brian Roe Creator on August 9, 2012

      Hello all,
      Just wanted to drop a note and let everyone know I am working on an update. Hopefully have it out by the weekend.
      Thanks for your patience.

    29. Brian Roe Creator on July 27, 2012

      I will be sending out a survey to gather shipping addresses. I think it will go out in about 2 weeks.

    30. Linda C Smith on July 26, 2012

      Hi, at what point will you need contact/mailing info from backers?

    31. Brian Roe Creator on July 23, 2012

      Sorry for the delay. Update coming today.

    32. Brian Stott on July 22, 2012

      Wow - no comments for three weeks? This is very strange for a Kickstarter project and no updates.....

      Where is the awesomeness with the project progress????

    33. Missing avatar

      Galatea on July 3, 2012

      Congratulations, Brian & Roy, 190% of your goal reached is quite a success. I will be sure to give Roy a handshake when he gets here.

    34. Missing avatar

      Mark Voevodin on July 3, 2012

      Thanks Brian (and Michael). Gee, I wish I could have afforded a whole hand or more, but not to be at this time.

    35. Brian Roe Creator on July 2, 2012

      Note made. 2 Fingers & International shipping.

    36. Michael Meissner on July 2, 2012

      Mark: I had a similar question, and asked Brian via 'send message', and he said so far, only two of us (now presumably 3) had asked for 2 fingers, and that he would mark it down. So, to be sure send him a message.

    37. Missing avatar

      Mark Voevodin on July 2, 2012

      To order just 2 fingers, with international delivery, would that be $52 ? And how do we let Brian know that the money is for 2 fingers, and not just an extra donation??
      PS Everyone that sees my printrbot, loves the LC design. Well done on that, and this kick-starter project as well.

    38. Michael Meissner on June 29, 2012

      Peter, at a guess it depends on what you mean by operating on a Mac.

      If you mean with the parallex board that is in the electronics rewards, using the software written in Visual Show Automation, it looks like the VSA software is only available on x86 Windows platforms. Perhaps you can run it on a Windows emulator or virtual machine from within the mac.

      If you mean writing the software yourself, but still using the parallex hardware, in looking at the parallex site, there is Mac support for the IDE.

      If you are not getting the parallex hardware, but are wanting to do the low level programming, there are various USB based servo control systems that you should be able to drive from the Mac. One that I've seen mention of is the Pololu ( Mini Maestro that can control up to 24 servos from a single USB cable.

    39. Missing avatar

      Peter Baum on June 28, 2012

      Anyone have any ideas how to operate this from a Mac?

      Peter, London, UK

    40. Michael Meissner on June 15, 2012

      I noticed that Roy has gone past 100% tonight. Way to go!

    41. Brian Roe Creator on June 15, 2012

      If you mean the linkage that hooks the servo arm to the finger mech that is defiantly part of the kit. The servo you get has a 25cm (10") long wire and plug already attached. It is not in the 3D model because I just never got around to adding them. You will be able to plug the servo into a breadboard and control it with your Arduino with just the items in the standard reward. Servo extensions just allow you to place the servos further from the electronics if needed. They can be found at any local hobby shop or online. You are looking for a JR style servo extension, whatever length you need.

    42. Michael Meissner on June 15, 2012

      Hmm, being a servo newbie, I didn't realize the control rods weren't part of the finger. I figured I would probably control it with my Arduino instead of the parallelex. I was wondering if you could either have a reward that includes the 8 30cm Servo Extensions, or at least mention where I can buy them (assuming you are funded).

    43. Missing avatar

      Scott Portocarrero on June 14, 2012

      Come on guys we're close we neeeeeeed to make this happen!!!!

    44. Nick Johnson on June 7, 2012

      Like Gav and Max, I'd love to see the plans released. I'd happily pledge more for a kit that included the mechanical parts but not the lasercut parts, and cut my own.

    45. Missing avatar

      Max Nippard on June 7, 2012

      I would also prefer an open design and an option for all hardware except the laser cut parts. I feel the maker community will contribute much more to a design they can modify and evolve as a group rather than just customers. You could become the founder of the laser cut robot revolution if the community is able to quickly iterate parts of the design themselves.
      Anyway, your design is awesome and that video was great. Hope the project is successful either way.

    46. Brian Roe Creator on June 7, 2012

      Brad & Gavin,
      The template is for the bolt pattern and servo placement to attach a finger kit to your own mount. Currently I do not plan on releasing the files, but if we are successful, that may change.

    47. Gavin Smith on June 7, 2012

      Lovely project! I've just pledged for the arm kit.

      Two questions:
      1. How much is International Shipping (specifically to Australia)?
      2. You mention the template for the finger. if the project is successful, will the digital files for the arm be available as well? I'd love to modify and cut my own variant.

    48. Brad Leong on June 5, 2012

      Hey Brian, cool project I think we talked at Maker Fair. I'd be interested in a pledge value for just the plans no kit. I'd want to CNC out of metal or laser out of acrylic. Let me know if you make such an offering.

    49. Brook Drumm on May 25, 2012

      Brian, Awesome project! I just backed. Congrats on the editor's choice at maker faire, BTW! Thanks so much for all the work you did on Printrbot LC, Plus, and more! Can't wait to play with Part 1. I have dreamed of owning my own robot since the 80's!

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