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Saturday, September 27, 2008

C3PO eyes using PIR Sensor

I've always wanted my C3PO statue to be activated by sensors when people walk by. Or at least have the lights in the eyes turn on. So the other day while picking up a set of metric taps, I noticed a battery operated LED motion detector for a little more than 9 bucks. The package said it only works in the dark but I figured I could disable the light sensor.

It was incredibly easy. I removed the circuit board from the plastic enclosure and clipped off the light sensor after doing a few experiments. I then redid the battery power to use a 9v battery instead of 4 AA batteries and I replaced their LED with a line running to C3PO's eyes. The increased voltage powers C3PO's 6 LED's. And it worked incredibly well. I then modified the original enclosure and covered it with a gold foil after cutting away the excess plastic. It fit nicely in the neck area and I snugged it in with a piece of duct tape.

So now when you walk past C3PO, his eyes light up and a few minutes later they fade out if there's no additional motion.

In R2D2 news, I've spent the entire week fabricating pieces and tapping aluminum to come up with an efficient way to mount the center wheel to the fiberglass foot shell. As of now, it looks good and everything is complete. I'll take pictures of my design after I try it out on R2 and see how it works. The 4" wheel is very wide and I'm concerned that it may not be as responsive as a smaller wheel. It's very heavy duty and industrial and might be overkill. We'll see.

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