Animatronic Eyes

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The Theory
           A gimbal is something that has been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years and we'll be using it on the mechanical system for our animatronic eye. The gimbal we'll be using has two axis of free movement which allows the eye to move left and right, up and down simultaneously. This will create the illusion of one movement in the eye even though two acuators are being used to make that movement.

3 Axis Gimbal

           The animation above, shows a gimbal with 3-axis of movement. This would be ideal for what we're doing, but somewhat overkill. Instead we'll go with a 2-axis, 1 for left-right and 1 for up-down. When we combine these two axis of movement together we get the complete gimbal system for animatronic eye movement. The short video below shows you a simple prototype of the two axis of movement with low cost prototyping parts.

           If you track the black dot representing a pupil you can see the range of movement that this system offers is nearly equal to that of the human eye. However this prototype is not very sturdy, so the actual system will need a more compact and precise design to which we can attach acuators. So let's continue and take a look at what we need to build.