Eye Lichen from The Labrynth
I am looking for mechanical help, or help with motion transfer, for a project that I am working on.
The project is to recreate the Eye Lichen from the movie The Labrynth, moving 10 to 12, animatronic tentacles. An example of these tentacles can be seen on this site under "Cable Mechanism Basics - Tentacles".
Mine will only move in two
directions, left and right, and will not be very long. The longest
tentacle will be about 10-inches and there will be about 10 to 12 of
them. I also want them to move using a motor or servo, not "human controlled" like a puppeteer.
The tentacles will be laid out in a random pattern in a box that is about 18" x 18" x 2" (Example). Because of the limited thickness of the box (2-inches) I do not have much room. The two dots, one red and one black, indicate the holes that the cables will be running through. The dashed line is there to indicate that they are paired with each other.
To move the tentacles left or right, I need to pull on either one of the two cables that protrude from the tentacle and out the back of the box. So, when one side is pulled on, the other side needs to loosen up. I have created a prototype that uses small servos to pull on them (Example) but I want to add more tentacles and fewer servos.
A couple of things I have thought about using are:
- Rack and pinion type setup, but that would require me to change the direction of the pull, from forward/back to left/right.
- Some type of spinning rod that would wind-up/un-wind the cable.
- How do I get all of these tentacles, which are not lined up, to move at the same time? I have see a documentary on the making of The Labrynth and Ross Hill, the puppeteer, seems to have 5 levers to move like 30 eyes. How?
- What would be a good way to wind-up/un-wind these cables besides using one servo for each tentacle?