I know it is a long way to Halloween, but I thought I would share my build of the Teensy Animated Eyes project.
Some of you may have come across the animated eyes by Adafruit, that utilises the Teensy 3.1/3.2 micro controller and a couple of screen, either TFT or OLED. I had been playing around with a single eye for a while and decided to build a project utilising two TFT screens and make a pair of animated eyes. You can find the original project, with all of the wiring and code details here, on the Adafruit Learn site.
The project needs the following:
- 1x Teensy 3.1 or 3.2 board
- 2x 1.44 inch Colour TFT screens https://www.adafruit.com/product/2088
- 2x 1.5 inch colour OLED screens https://www.adafruit.com/product/1431
- A case for the eyes - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3365042
- A bit of copper strip board
- two 40mm (or 38mm) clear half spheres (glass or acrylic - I used glass and 40mm half spheres as I couldn’t get any 38mm ones - note the case expects 40mm half spheres)
- your soldering skills
A lot of the connections between the screens are shared, so to simplify the wiring I connected both screens to a piece of copper strip board so the 6 shared connections where easy to solder up. I also included the TCS connections onto my strip board so all of the connections where distributed from a single small pcb. The connections where then made to the Teensy processor - see the Adafruit tutorial as the connections are slightly different based on type of screens you use.
With one screen hooked up the Teensy and distribution board looks like this:
With two screens you will end up with this:
You’ll notice that the wiring is folded back on itself on the back of the screens. This just helps a little to line up the wiring exit hole on the case with the wiring.
So to the case. The original case was designed for one TFT screen with a 38mm lens (clear half sphere). As I couldn’t get any 38mm half spheres I knew I had to modify the case, and while making the case work with the 40mm half spheres that I had, I also joined two cases together for a pair of eyes, so the cases look like this:
In the STL on Thingiverse, there are two small rings. I have yet to test these but they are designed just to finish off the mount and hide any small glue eruptions from mounting the glass. So why do you need the glass half spheres? Will here is the mounted screens without the spheres:
Please excuse the reflections of my desk lamp on the right screen, the next photo has the same issue. But, the next photo shows the setup with the glass in place:
Hopefully you’ll agree that the glass spheres really make a difference.
I will come back with a future post on creating your own eye designs etc. It is covered in the Adafruit article but I’ll update this thread with my take on it. Also, you may have noticed 4 headers on my Teensy. You can setup the eyes to be controlled by a joystick, and use buttons to wink and blink the eyes, although it does blink automatically as well. You can also add a light sensor and have the pupils of the eyes react to the ambient light.
My plan is to have a hooded figure ready for Halloween, and I plan to have these eyes (or a custom set - more on that in a future post) staring out form the hood.
So to finish, this is the effect you can get - please excuse the lamp glare again.