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Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow's Arms & Shoulder Joints
« Last post by Oldeworldsmith on December 11, 2018, 02:57:17 PM »
I wanted to share an update of where I’m at with the Netflix arms. I did a couple trial-runs with different lengths of arm dowels in order to test if my measuring method was accurate (which I will detail in a future post). I’ve finally settled on the what I confidentially believe to be the correct lengths which have successfully allowed me to recreate the same full range of motion and poses I’ve seen the real ones perform… Or at least as confident as I can be without being able to take a ruler to the real thing in person.

I’m now in the middle of painting all the components and once that’s done, I’ll be sharing a full list of parts and measurements. But for now, I thought I’d share the method I worked out for wrists as they aren’t terribly complicated, but explaining them is going to be touch lengthy.

What’s obvious from watching the show is that a puppet rod now sneaks up through the open elbow area, into a sphere and then attaches to the enlarged fanny pincher hand. It allows for general movement of the forearm and also the rotation the hand as well. I’ve seen no evidence that the hands are articulated with an opening and closing “pincher style” mechanism. They are attached with what I would assume to be the standard Split Push-In Rivets which simply allow for the finger-half of the hand to freely hang and flop open & shut.

What that means for the wrist though is that the spheres which make them up must have at least one pivot point in relation to the rest of the arm, and also allow for rotation of the hands via a rod traveling straight through them. Again, I’m not saying I know for certain this was how it was done... But this way very much works, looks perfectly accurate from the outside, and I’d be quite shocked to find out they did something drastically different.

Using the comparative photo-measurement method, the wrist spheres appear to have a diameter of 1-3/4” which is consistent with the spacing between the rest of the joints. I found a batch of wooden spheres at a Hobby Lobby in just this size. Any larger (next standard size up is 2”) and it becomes obviously too big and no longer fits or matches the scale in relation to the rest of the assembly seen in the photos.

It can be very difficult if you’ve never drilled directly through the center of a sphere before. I’d absolutely recommend using a drill press as opposed to free-handing it. It will allow you to safely secure the shape and get a precision mark on the center point. It should also be noted these wooden sphere “beads” have a helpful way of finding their center points in that there will be two spots where, during their creation, they were held in a lathe and spun. Find them and use an awl to indent holes in them for your drills to sink accurately into.

Drill this first hole completely through the sphere. The hole should be the same diameter of your puppet rod- just large enough to allow the rod to slip easily through and spin freely without friction.

Next, you’ll need to drill straight through the center again, but this time at a 90-degree right angle to the hole you just previously drilled for the puppet rod. This new hole will need to be large enough to admit two 8-32, ¾” length bolts. You can use a differently-sized gauge for the bolts if you please, but their length should not exceed ¾”

As you can see in the dotted, red outlines I added, you don’t want them to go all the way through & meet in the middle. They should only go into the sphere deep enough to offer it a rotation point while not impedeing the puppet rod- which will occupy the center space. You should be able smoothly spin the sphere both on the rod and (separately) on the bolts and not have it wobble. If it does wobble from an uneven centrifugal force, that’s a sign you didn’t properly drill your holes directly through the center points on the sphere. Try, try again!

The bolts will ultimately serve as the attachment points between the styrene joints. The puppet rod (seen in my photo with temporary shaft collars to keep it in place) will eventually attach to the resin pincher hands.

…Speaking of which, I’m also starting the process of enlarging a pair of the hands via the method I heard was used for the real-deals. Specifically, using an expanding resin. You can look up HydroSpan100 on Google for a full explanation and demo of how it works. In short, it will require a significant amount of time and several generations of re-molding to get them to their show size. We’re talking weeks to potentially months here actually and wouldn’t you know it… The company I bought the resin from sent me a batch that expires this coming April! So, wish me speedy luck. I’ve made silicone molds and cast resin many times before but this will be my first time attempting to work with the expanding variety.

Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by Robert K S on December 11, 2018, 01:45:48 PM »
how do you then feel about "Tour Crow?" Seeing how he features what I think is the coolest & slickest string-based puppet jaw mechanism to date:

It looks kind of like a trigger mechanism to do the mouth actuation?  Has anyone identified the part (or is it like a custom 3-D printed thing)?  How exactly does it work?  Who is the puppeteer in the photograph?
Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by Robert K S on December 11, 2018, 01:39:22 PM »
I will say that to him if I ever see him again.  Last time he came to Cleveland I wore my neon green lab coat.  He liked it and spent a while talking to me.  This was after the revival was announced but before the shows were made.  He lamented that it "wasn't the same show" and that he had already made up his mind that he wouldn't be having anything to do with it.
Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by squidsicle on December 10, 2018, 03:31:54 PM »
agreed. I saw Trace Friday night.  I WANTED to say "it takes three people to create a tenth of the performance you gave"
What I ACTUALLY said was nothing.
Crow T. Robot / Re: Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by Oldeworldsmith on December 07, 2018, 10:30:43 AM »
I don't think you'll find anyone who disagrees with that! The servo-actuated mouth is pretty darn bleh for every reason you listed and more. I can't think of any practical reason to mimic it for a fan-built bot either.

I do wonder if any of the Kickstarter funders who got screen-used Crow puppets as part of their rewards received the models with the mechanisms in the mouth. If so, I would love to get a look at them just to satisfy my academic curiosity... But certainly not for replicating.

Given how it seems that's all you hate about Netflix Crow, how do you then feel about "Tour Crow?" Seeing how he features what I think is the coolest & slickest string-based puppet jaw mechanism to date:

Crow T. Robot / Netflix Crow sucks
« Last post by Robert K S on December 06, 2018, 11:32:29 PM »
There, I said it.  Fight me.

I'm not referring to Hampton Yount.  He's fine.

I don't even mean the double-bulky arms.  "I'm different!"

I mean the new mouth actuation mechanism.  It has much lower responsiveness/bandwidth than the direct pull-string of old Crow.  Any multi-syllable word results in Crow's mouth mostly just staying open for the entirety of the word.  Sometimes Crow's mouth never closes for the entirety of a sentence.  It really lowers the verisimilitude of Crow as a puppet character.  If you try to read his lips, he only ever says "AH-AH-AH-AH-AH" now.  Once you notice this, it's impossible to get over.  MST3K is ruined forever.  Well, at least any of the bits where Crow is talking.

Point is, if you're going to build Crow, don't waste your time trying to build him with the new mouth actuator.  Do him justice and put in the old pull-string.
Bot Building - General Discussion / Re: Gypsy Reference
« Last post by Snarkticon on December 04, 2018, 03:20:27 PM »
Hi! I haven't forgotten. I simply wasn't able to muster up the time or energy yet. I'll snag some reference shots tonight and contact the scanning place tomorrow!
Everything else... / Satellite of love lights?
« Last post by crowtrobotfan4 on December 03, 2018, 02:01:13 AM »
I'm looking for a good close up details or just reference photos for the 3 lights that were above the doors at the bridge. There were different types from season 1, season 2 - 7, seasons 8 - 10. Not counting the season 11 version cause it looked 3d printed.
Bot Building - General Discussion / Re: Gypsy Reference
« Last post by squidsicle on November 30, 2018, 02:17:25 PM »
Best news i've heard in a while!
keep me in the loop.
I'd be more than happy to handle the cost or split it with you.
I found the photo!!! It’s from Grant Baciocco’s Instagram- @throwingtoasters
I very much remembered wrong what context it was in, but there they are. Dangling from under Servo’s skirt; the two rod pulls for his arms:

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