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Sunday, August 31, 2008

War of the Robots

Since we're getting some tropical weather related to hurricane Gustav, I decided to lay low and work with B9 and Robby the Robot. Something I've always wanted to do was to create a display where they reenact the Season one Lost in Space episode entitled "War of the Robots". It's where a "Robotoid" (played by Robby the robot) challenges the Robinson's B9 robot in the scene where the two robots have a bit of dialog with each other and spar over who's going to be the alpha robot.

In thinking about MegaCon and the new displays I want to put together, I came up with a way to use a video IPod and some fancy video/audio editing to enable my two robots to play out that episode while a vintage black and white TV displays actual footage from that scene. And all in perfect synchronous. I split the audio out into two channels ... one for B9 and one for Robby and used a video feed to the TV. The TV is muted as all audio is routed directly to the robots. I plan on encoding about 6 - 8 hours of LIS episodes for MegaCon with B9 and Robby phrases and the IPOD.

An interesting fact I discovered about the IPOD is you can do this with standard camcorder avi cables ... BUT ... apple changes all the standards around so most people who try it think it isn't compatible. But using the RED wire from the camcorder cable out of the IPOD to the TV video signal is the ticket. Not the yellow cable like in standard configurations.

My B9's neon is on the fritz but in preliminary tests, Robby worked well and B9 said his lines just right without neon. Looks very cool and a nice change from wrestling with R2.

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