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Senior engineering students create unique project, an animatronic head

Credit: Louisiana State University

Someplace within the labyrinth of Patrick F. Taylor Corridor, there sits a disembodied head that may present the solutions to life’s best mysteries, supplied he’s offered with the correct providing. His glowing eyes change shade as he rewards you or disappoints you in a booming voice on the finish of your lengthy quest searching for data.


Okay, so it isn’t a labyrinth. It is a very good, state-of-the-art lab area on the second ground of the School of Engineering, however the remainder of it’s all true.

MIMIR is the results of a ardour/senior capstone design challenge by LSU Electrical and Mechanical Engineering seniors Collin DeVillier, Blake Byrne, Preston Dantin, Ava Landry and Cantan Varnado.

“MIMIR stands for Mechanical Independently Mobile Immersive Robot,” stated Landry, a mechanical engineering main from Geismar, La. “He is based mostly on mythology for the Norse god of knowledge, Mimir, who loses his head in a battle with the Vanir gods. We picked a headless character in order that our engineering constraints would match our remaining product. In mythology, Mimir sits in a nicely of knowledge and is approached by gods and vacationers to share his data. The idea for our interactions is that you’re a traveler visiting Mimir’s nicely and are making a sacrifice to obtain his knowledge.

“Our system is a 3D-printed system that sits on a wooden base and is actuated by servo motors. The entire system is covered in a latex skin that is themed to the Mimir character. MIMIR uses object detection as part of his computer vision system and detects an ornate bowl that is held by users. There is a microphone that is hidden in the bottom of the bowl that picks up user audio. The speech recognition system detects keyword phrases that users say and determines what corresponding dialogue output to play. Once the system determines the output, the animatronic begins to move through movements that match his response. He also has LED eyes that change color in conjunction with each output.”

LSU Engineering Seniors Create Unique Project, An Animatronic Head
Senior capstone challenge achieved by Collin DeVillier, a local of Brusly, La.; Blake Byrne, a local of Morgan Metropolis, La.; Preston Dantin, a local of Luling, La.; Ava Landry, a local of Geismar, La.; and Cantan Varnado, a local of Denham Springs, La. Credit: LSU School of Engineering

Landry labored on the design and manufacturing of the animatronic, in addition to its pores and skin. Varnado, a mechanical engineering main from Denham Springs, La., was chargeable for the manufacturing of the animatronic construction. Byrne, {an electrical} engineering main from Morgan Metropolis, La., labored on the pc imaginative and prescient system, which permits MIMIR to show and have a look at the consumer as she or he asks questions. Dantin, {an electrical} engineering main from Luling, La., was accountable for the speech recognition system, making it attainable for MIMIR to reply to the consumer’s questions. DeVillier, {an electrical} engineering main from Brusly, La., and sponsor and workforce chief on the challenge, was chargeable for the combination of the pc imaginative and prescient and speech recognition techniques, in addition to the precise motion of the animatronic.

He additionally wrote the dialogue for MIMIR, which was recorded by Douglas Streater, a grasp’s scholar within the LSU School of Music & Dramatic Arts.

“The idea started about a year ago, as I was finishing up another animatronic that I built as a hobby,” Devillier stated. “I wondered if it would be possible to use technology to interact with animatronics. When I did some research, I couldn’t find any publicly visible animatronics that could be visited at a theme park. I wanted to showcase, both to the themed entertainment industry and to the College of Engineering, a potential future of animatronic technology, as well as promote the industry as a serious [option] for engineers.”

Devillier has additionally labored to take action by means of a scholar group he based with Landry at LSU, known as Tiger TPED—Theme Park Engineering & Design. He serves as president, together with Landry, who’s vp; Byrne, the membership chair; and Varnado, a member.

After commencement this week, the group will finally go their separate methods. Devillier will work at Oceaneering, an organization that builds trip techniques for theme parks, in Orlando. Landry will work as an affiliate engineer for trip and present techniques at Common Inventive in Orlando. Byrne will transfer to Atlanta and work for Siemens in manufacturing unit automation and controls. Varnado will work for Maverick Applied sciences in Portland, and Dantin is within the technique of weighing his choices.

As for MIMIR, he’ll stay with Devillier, who hopes to make use of him as a studying software for college kids.

“My hope would be to bring MIMIR to local high schools to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math),” Devillier stated. “I think it’s really important to showcase not only the engineering aspects of the project but also the artistic aspects. I think it’s really important for young people to understand that you can be both an engineer and a creative. It’s not an either/or choice.”

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Senior engineering college students create distinctive challenge, an animatronic head (2022, May 18)
retrieved 18 May 2022

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