Let's Make Robots!

HAL-9000 (or "The HAL-met, a HAL-oween Odyssey"


I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer... 

In Iowa, we have an odd tradition called "Beggar's Night."  It means kids go Trick-or-Treating on the night before Halloween, not the night of.  It goes back to our puritan roots, not wanting to encourage a belief in witches and ghoulies, etc, but not wanting the kids to leave protestantism because it sucked and had no candy. This year, I went out for a constitutional while the kiddies were after their score and I still hadn't figured out my costume for the Party my Fiancé and I were going to go to tonight.  Then it hit me when I saw a tot running around in a cheezy Transformers costume-there's no scarier computer from fiction than HAL.

I started building it as soon as I got home.  

Inside the HAL 9000 Helmet

The base is another trash can that I cut shoulder holes and a faceplate access out of. The face plate is 6 Mil expanded PVC, the eye is a Jumbo LED behind the lens from an old overhead projector and the top of a chocolate drink mix can. I found a voice-changing microphone from the dollar store and tore it apart.  I didn't even need to add any external amplification, just a better speaker, and mounted that behind some storm door screen.   It uses an ATTiny 85 (programmed via Arduino as ISP) to change an audio signal from a Sparkfun Electret Breakout board into an analog signal that the tiny then maps to a PWM output for the LED. This board was one that I had built for Maus:

MAUS Brains or the HAL 9000?

In fact the breakout board was the same one that was on MAUS too.  It's nice to be able to use things that you thought were a lost cause from another project.  It's all powered by one 9v through an LM7805.

I used the body from the Non-contact thermometer I recently tore apart for the hand control and just wired two push-button switches using 4-wire phone cable to the voice changer.  The microphone also had "Riff" and "Music" trigger switches, so I had to pull those to make sure I didn't accidentally start playing T-Pain or some other sh!t at this party.

...and here's the unfair part.  I spent all that time, rushing, staying up late building this to go to the party for friends that my fiancé knows far better than I do, and she told me an hour ago that she doesn't want to go now.  (Oh well, I'm still head over heels in love with her.)  So LMR is the only place I get to share it.  I suppose it will save until next year if I don't canibalize it for parts too much or have to throw it away to make space for other stuff...

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Maxhirez's picture
Tonight I noticed that ThinkGeek was having a "Sci-Fi themed" contest at Instructables. Then I looked at the prizes: http://www.instructables.com/contest/scifi2012/?show=PRIZES Lame as Claudius. Not worth the time to write it up...
hoff70's picture

That's really awesome and clever! Please say you can see out of it.

Sonnds, looks frieghtening, intimidating. Turns, *SWACK* bangs head on wall...

myblack60impala's picture

Just some general thoughts from reading this....and the posts

  • Dave's not here man. 
  • "Beggar's Night" - In this part of MO we call it "Devils Night" as there used to be a lot of satanic crap.
  • heh heh heh....he said "canibal".
  • IBM? never heard that one before.
  • If I'd had known it was going to be that kind of party I'd have stuck my **** in the mashed potatoes!!!  lol


Maxhirez's picture
LOLs. Is Devil's Night the night before or the night of?
myblack60impala's picture

Here, Devils Night is the night before Halloween.

In KY (outside of Louisville) they called it Picket Night from a tradition of teenagers toilet papering their schools/grounds.

TheBenjaneer's picture

Awesome!

Such a good costume XD

 

mixmar's picture

i have watched the video 5 times now.. its just really awesome. please dont kill HAL. It deserves to live another year, so more ppl get to see the awesomeness

Chris the Carpenter's picture

"HAL" was "HAL" because of a dig on IBM..  ..If you notice, each letter is just one-off from "IBM"...

Maxhirez's picture
I have heard that, and then I've also heard that Clarke went back and forth between claiming that and that it stood for "Heuristic ALgorithm."
Chris the Carpenter's picture

...and I don't think it has been said any more clearly:

Dear Alex and Marilyn 
They're Lovey and Thurston howellin 
The grasshopper unit is prowellin 
And Rufus is back home growellin 
For all of y'all that are dozin 
On Hornblower's lederhosen 
Like Walt Disney he'll be frozen 
And then the Swiss Hall of Fame he goes in 
Cause when he's out in space carousin 
Pick up my mic and start joustin 
His name plate medallion 
Says never trust a HAL 9000