Stargate Horus helmet

This build was a special project I did for a friend. I didn’t make the helmet castings- I just made it move. I will say that the helmet that was sent to me is one of the most gorgeous movie prop replicas I’ve ever seen- the first photo shows a painted mock up helmet. It’s an absolutely stunning piece and it’s dead on accurate. Although it is to be a display piece it is wearable just like the movie helmets.

The helmet has moving head, light up eyes (dimmable), opening eye iris and properly moving fans. Everything is radio control just like the original movie helmets (the eye dimming is controlled by an Arduino tied into the radio receiver.) This was a really exciting project and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to work on it.

Full build on Instructables and Hackaday.


Animatronic Predator cannons

I’ve built animatronics for several Predator cannons. The big AVP cannon seen here was for a friend that wanted to animate a display piece for his son. When a person walks by the ultrasonic sensor triggers the motion- the cannon raises, powers up, laser sight turns on, cannon fires several times (with recoil action) and then lowers back down and powers down.

The P1 cannon mechanism was built for the Monsterpalooza Jamie Hall suit up/tribute with the original Stan Winston Studios film crew. This cannon was a push button rig that ran through a pre programmed motion sequence.

The last video shows the first cannon mechanism I built back in 2008. It was an accelerometer based head tracking system. Ideally I would have preferred to use a dual IMU (inertial measurement unit) setup but IMU’s at the time were still fairly large (and expensive!)

AVP cannon build on Hackaday.

Monsterpalooza P1 build on Instructables.

Head tracking cannon on Instructables.


Iron Man Mk III suit

This was a big project! My friend Greg from the Replica Prop Forum wanted to add animatronics to his Iron Man MkIII fiberglass suit so we went all out. After considering several options I built an Arduino based system using RFID tags in the gloves to trigger the shoulder rocket pods, hip pods, forearm missile, back flaps and helmet. The helmet has wireless control via XBee radios. The boots light up and make sound while walking by using a PIR sensor in the boot to trigger the effect.

There is a complete build tutorial on Instructables and Hackaday.


Iron Man MkIV helmet

A project for my friend Thomas of Hollywood Hardware. He wanted to animate his MkIV display helmet using push button control with a specific movement/light sequence.


Animatronics controller board

I made a neat little wireless animatronics/servo controller board using an Arduino Pro Mini with a socketed XBee radio in a custom PCB. This was designed to accept multiple sensor inputs to be used as function triggers/control inputs. This also works really well as a sensor node for wireless data acquisition (with 3.3V based sensors.) If I was to redesign this I would probably use an ARM Cortex M4 based board for the additional processing power/data throughput as the low voltage Pro Mini cannot handle multiple sensors at high frequencies.

Full write up with lots of code examples on Instructables.



Air muscles

Air muscles are very powerful actuators that work very similar to a human muscle and have a phenomenal strength to weight ratio- they can exert a pulling force up to 400 times their own weight. They will work when twisted or bent and can work under water. They’re also easy and cheap to make!

Tutorial on Instructables.

Ben Krasnow of Applied Science (a fantastic YouTube channel) made a cool force feedback joystick using the info in the instructable. Neat!