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Thread: Innerbreed's Animatronic Hawk Project

  1. #1

    Innerbreed's Animatronic Hawk Project

    I was going to post this thread after Christmas but...
    Thats right, Innerbreed is going to start an animatronic project.

    Well ever since i was a boy i always loved the animatronic side of film production.

    I have decided to make an animatronic Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo Regalis).
    With this project in mind i have been researching the hawk to get a better understanding of its movements, size, shape and any other credentials i'd need for this.

    The Research:

    Name: Family: Hawk family Accipitridae (ak-sip-IH-try-dee), from the Latin accipiter meaning "hawk or bird of prey."

    Buteo (BEW-tee-oh), which is from a Latin word meaning falcon or hawk. Commonly describes a group of medium to large birds of prey that have long and broad rounded wings and short tails. These birds are masters at soaring for long periods of time. Twelve species of buteos breed in North America north of the Mexico border.

    Species: Regalis (reg-AY-liss), from Latin meaning "kingly" or "royal." These are the largest of the buteos.

    Common name: Ferruginous (fer-OO-jin-us) means "rusty color" and refers to the coloration of the birds wing and legging feathers.


    The ferruginous hawk is the largest buteo in North America averaging 22.5-25" long, with a 53-56" wingspan. Sexes are alike, females average just a bit larger than males. Two color morphs occur, with intermediates. Light morph: Rust colored back and shoulders; head paler, grayish and streaked, and white tail has pale rust wash on end. Undersides are white with limited streaking and rusty spots; leg feathers rust colored on adults, white on juveniles. Large, white crescent-shaped patches occur on the upperwing surface on the primaries. Beneath the wing, large dark comma-shaped patches occur at the wrists. Dark morph: Entire head and body and wing surfaces are dark brown to cinnamon-colored. The yellow gape (mouth) stripe is visible. Upper surface of wing at the base of the primaries shows the white "window", similar to light morphs.
    Ok Lesson over...

    Not just Hawks but most (if not all) Birds have a very fast reaction time, this is due to a higher brain processing power. they can also process far more frames per second with there sight.
    To closely replicate this sharp, fast reactions i have written the code in a very simple and basic way that just a simple touch from the controller will result in a very life-like twitch that birds have. The control is variable so softer movements can be achieved too.

    My Hawk Project:
    Ok first off, you might ask' why an Animatronic Bird?

    The main reason for this project is to create a Realistic Decoy Hawk that could be used to scare off unwanted pests.

    Many people prefer to scare birds away, and use conventional decoy birds to do this. The most common way of doing this is by positioning decoy birds of prey on the building. The results by using this method vary. Some find that their problem is solved immediately and the birds never come back, others find a small reduction in bird numbers.Correct positioning is essential to success and turning the decoy once a week does seem to give better results

    With my project, i intend to make a decoy that will do the job properly. It will be as life like as possible regarding look and movement. It will be self contained and will "Eventually" be autonomous and there for saving time from "turning" or repositioning it.

    The Mechanics:
    Here is the 5th version of this i have built. The head consists of 5DOF.
    it wont make much sense at this stage but i hope you can see what will be happening with the movements, just by looking at the servo axis's.

    *Starting from the top(tip) we have a small HS-225bb servo: This will activate the beak movements. (open/close) As i wont be adding sound i may even ditch the idea of an opening beak. space is tight in the head as it is.
    *Attached to that is a Hs-485bb servo: This works the heads Tilting action (up/down)
    *Then we have a HS-645mg servo: This is the Head Rotate (twist)
    *Next we have an in-direct axis that uses another HS645mg servo: This adds another axis to the head tilt called neck tilt.
    This servo is very interesting, it adds a very realistic movement to the head by allowing it to achieve a higher level of tilt and adding a flinching effect to the head.
    *Then we have a HS645mg servo at the bottom of the tube: This Rotates the head shaft (Pan)

    for the programming i have started writing the code from scratch. i have used the controls like this:
    Right J/stick U/D NeckTilt
    Right J/stick L/R HeadTurn
    Left J/stick U/D HeadTilt
    Left J/stick L/R HeadRotate

    If looking at the two Head Rotation servos (HeadRotate & HeadTurn) you can maybe see that their individual Y axis is slightly offset, and have their own interdependent line of rotation
    So if you can visually understand that then 'when the two Head Rotation servos (HeadRotate & HeadTurn) turn in opposite directions it forces the heads center Y axis to shift from side to side due to the "Offset" rotations.

    The action then performed when doing the "Offset" rotations makes the bird shift its head center away from the body center. kinda like an Indian dancer

    The reason for this is to utilize the full function of the two servos plus add another "combined" life like motion.

    A very animatronic way of programming.
    The program at the moment works really well and the movements are fast and reactive like a bird.

    The Wings:

    so far the hawk has 10 servos installed.
    Giving 4dof for the head + a beak
    and 2dof per wing each
    also it has a tail servo installed.

    Here are the current controls and function for the hawk so far

    **********RealTime CONTROL**********
    Input:     Output:
    R Joy Vert   NeckTilt
    R Joy Hori   HeadTurn
    L Joy Vert   HeadTilt      
    L Joy Hori   HeadRotate   
    R1           Right Wing Open
    R2           Right Wing Close
    L1           Left Wing Open   
    L2           Left Wing Close   
    Tri          Initial pose
    Cro          Beak Close
    Cir          Beak Open
    D-Pad U      Wings Rotate Forward   
    D-Pad D      Wings Rotate Backwards   
    D-Pad L      Tail Left   
    D-Pad R      Tail Right

    Jonny Poole,

  2. #2

    Re: Innerbreed's Animatronic Hawk Project

    ok well since i posted this project i have made a few changes and to go with these changes i have some videos, and pictures.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Animatronic Hawk (beak test 1)[/ame]

    [ame=""]YouTube - Animatronic Hawk (Movement Test #2)[/ame]

    [ame=""]YouTube - Animatronic Hawk Skin test[/ame]

    Jonny Poole,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    South Sphincter Idaho
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    Re: Innerbreed's Animatronic Hawk Project

    Nice work.. I love it.

    Team Maggot---Mechs. "Bheka" (retired), "Maggot Mk.3(A)"
    " Keep your stick on the ice ".... Red Green

  4. #4

    Re: Innerbreed's Animatronic Hawk Project

    Well its been a while...

    i had some time tonight to work the feather for the hawk. im not 100% happy regarding the work but improvements can be made. been told that feathers are a really hard medium to work with. and to get them looking natural is hard. they are right!

    anyway here it is so far...
    using latex to attach the feathers:

    the camera really picks up contrast on the feathers but really they dont look as bad as shown.
    i might be able to spend more time tomorrow night working on the feathers.

    Now that the hawk has been feathered i thought it would be a good idea to see how it performs. the feathers and latex skin add extra stress to the servos but it pulls it off i hope. maybe a bit of TLC will make it look better.

    Also i thought it would be a good opportunity to show some of the production pictures for those who are interested.?

    Unfortunately there is not much "hawk time" but i do plan on another video when i improve it.

    Here it is:
    [ame=""]YouTube - Animatronic Hawk Production Reel[/ame]

    Jonny Poole,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    South Sphincter Idaho
    Rep Power

    Re: Innerbreed's Animatronic Hawk Project

    The Hawks coming along nicely. I loved the interaction with the cat..

    Team Maggot---Mechs. "Bheka" (retired), "Maggot Mk.3(A)"
    " Keep your stick on the ice ".... Red Green

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