The technology era has brought numerous advancements in every field of human activity, including DIY programming. Back in 2005, the MIT Media Lab planted the seeds of a future web-based documentation system for various amateur tech projects.
Since then, a website called Instructables spiraled into a huge collection of step-by-step walkthroughs for making cool stuff. One of these projects is Arduino-based Chartreuse motion tracking face that is very easy, cheap, and fun to build.
The Chartreuse Project
Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform allowing users to create their own interactive electronic objects. With this, you can make Chartreuse which is basically a face that tracks movement and follows you when you walk by. You can even make your own in just a few steps.
You will need an Arduino Uno microcontroller board, a servo, a stepper motor, some solid core wire, around 20 square feet of ⅛” hardboard, some wood glue, 1.5 ft 1.5 inch PVC, 20 ⅛” inch ball bearings, and an 8”x2” piece of fiberglass mesh. To put it all together, you need some tools, including a 3D printer, a laser cutter, clamps to hold everything together during drying, a soldering iron, and a hot glue gun.
Making the face
Once you’ve gathered all those supplies, it’s time to get busy. The entire process is divided into six highly detailed steps, so you won’t get stuck anywhere. The first step covers the making of the model, editing, and slicing the features you need. You can find all 52 layers of the mask attached as a PDF for you to cut. Building the face in the second step is where the fun begins. It includes laser cutting, gluing, and finishing the hardboard parts of the face.
The third step is all about the 3D parts and attaching them to each other. Step four is dedicated to building the base for the face and the other electronic parts. The most technical part would be step five which deals with all the electrical tinkering and coding. Don’t worry, the instructions are there to guide you through it all even if you’re a tech newbie. Once you’ve finished the hard part, you’re pretty much done with step six which is basically assembling everything together.
Now it’s time to show off
And that’s it, you’ve made your very own motion tracking face to show off to your friends. It will take some time and effort, but you’ll certainly be proud of what you’ve made, especially when the Chartreuse face perks up as you walk by. Every time.