Author Topic: YA project 002 - Space Blaster MP - Research thread  (Read 125 times)

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Offline Youkai

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YA project 002 - Space Blaster MP - Research thread
« on: April 04, 2020, 03:53:53 am »
I'm starting some initial planning on a new project. This project will be a working cosplay/prop of the Arm Cannon from the Metroid Prime video game series. The morphing in that game is far beyond anything I could hope to build (possibly beyond what is possible) so I'm going to simplify it heavily. I found this video of a guy that appears to be working on a similar project. The very end of his video has the game animations for each of the blaster morphings: As you can see the morphing is very complex. I'm going to simplify it to a couple moving parts for each section that are independent of the other parts. See my drawings from forever ago attached.

Those drawings are from my first attempt at this project like 10 years ago when I had even less than my non-existent current electronics experience and no knowledge of this forum. Watching them now is kind of painful but I do have some videos from that attempt if you are curious: My initial reference drawings attached here. You can see that each of the 3 special beams will have a couple sections that will move away from the body where they normally rest when activated.

Now that all of that is out of the way let's get to the meat and potatoes of this project. On some of these I will reference a video number from my first attempt playlist if you would like to get a better idea of what I mean. Here are some bullets of what the project will contain/need to do:
  • I will be 3d modeling/printing the project. (video 14 for a basic idea of the final shape)
  • There will be 4 beam states: normal, wave, ice, plasma. The latter three will each have a moving section that will open when that beam is activated. (video 16)
  • Ideally I would also like to get the missiles working too which would involve the front of the front opening.
  • There will be various LED throughout the model that will turn on and do various animations when the beams are activated.
  • When the gun is "fired" sounds will play. (video 20)
  • The project should be self contained and battery operated. Electronics should fit inside the shell which will be hollow since I'm 3D printing it.
  • Inside the model where your arm goes there will be a handle to hold onto. This will contain all the button to switch beams, fire, etc.

I'm thinking the lighting on this will most likely be some version of NeoPixels. Not sure if I'll use individuals or strips or maybe a ribbon with individually addressable lights. For the sake of simplicity I'd like to be able to control all of the lighting through one pin on my controller and chaining NeoPixels together will permit that. Any thoughts on if this is a bad idea or better ideas would be appreciated.

If you watch video 20 from my playlist you can see that in my previous attempt I chained an Arduino and a raspberry Pi together to control it. The Arduino controlled the servos and LED and the Pi did the audio. I used the serial output of the Arduino to send signals to the Pi to trigger the sound effects. There has got to be a better way to do this. Not sure if there is an Arduino compatible controller out there that can do audio or if I should just try to control it all through a Pi. Or maybe something like what I did is necessary. Please provide any suggestions.

One problem I had in the previous attempt was getting the output volume at a decent level. I don't need it to be loud but I would like people within a couple meters of you to be able to hear it. In my previous attempt I tried to use some kind of 3.5mm speaker to plug into the PI and get that to work. That was not sufficient. Need to do better on this attempt. No ideas. Please help!

The pieces that move will each move somewhere between 5 and 10mm. The plan is for them to move linearly away from the shell maintaining their orientation so there is an even space around the lifted piece. See video 16 for sample. I don't know that there is a good way to do that though. If I have to rely on a servo to do this I could live with the piece moving through a quarter circle of rotation (i.e. "swinging" up as the servo rotates 90 degrees). I've got some "MG90S Servo 9G Micro" servos that I can use unless there is a better option. Any ideas on how I would not only do the movement but also make sure the orientation is maintained as it moves?

I would like a person to able to wear this and walk around. That means that I'll need to run it off of batteries. Like the whole thing: lights, servos, LED's, controller. That seems like a lot to power through a battery pack. I know there are some pretty high density RC car battery packs out there so I'll need some help calculating the power needs and picking an appropriate battery for this. Initial ideas and suggestions so I can begin thinking would be appreciated. I know you can't say anything for sure without more details on what will actually be running but hopefully you can make some educated guesses to give me something to research.

Thanks a lot for your time everyone. Please feel free to add any comments, suggestions, warnings, whatever you think may be helpful. I look forward to working on this project! Finally here is a link to the build log for my project if you would like to follow along:

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