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.
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:
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...