We take Halloween pretty seriously, it's the only reason we own a smoke machine. Last year we had the bath replaced, so we put a skeleton in red lights in it. Looked great.
Back in April I had an idea, a robotic zombie. So, got an arduino, started teaching myself micro electronics and re-learning C, built up our tools ready. Given my health, it's taken a long time.
The original design called for shoulder, elbow, neck and jaw articulation with a fan blowing air into a toy to make noise and a hinged waist to allow it to prop itself up. Due to time limitations, the final result had only the shoulders, elbow and neck moving. Thursday I built the control board and last night I was up until 3 coding. Also found I'd wired the infra red sensor wrongly on the board, so had some 2am in situ soldering to do. Had to throw away my beautiful graduated movement code because the servos wouldn't behave, at 2:30am! Had to rewrite something quick and dirty there and then.
This morning we dressed it. Uploaded ZombotQAD to the arduino and tested it. Success! We get it outside, and the elbow fell off. Fixed that, and the PIR failed (started giving a floating return), so yet another on the spot code rewrite so it moved on a timer rather than sensor and uploading ZombotQADevenDirtier to the arduino in the garden! Then it's left arm feel off, shearing the servo shaft. Got spares, so replaced that. Then it happened again, killing another servo. I wasn't willing to spend another servo on it (I think the shirt was snagging), so disabled the left arm.
After that, Zombot served the rest of the night with distinction. A shame he's now in pieces on the shelf.
A brief vid of him in action, before any failures hit.https://youtu.be/j4PkkIVC9Lg