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Unread 11-06-2003, 04:22 PM   #1
papaslides
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Nightcrawler Tail

Alright I've already posted this under "other costumes" but a. I accidently put it in the wrong category B. i'm not getting any feedback so I'll try here I hope this doesn't count as spam.

I'm trying to create an animatronic tail for a Nightcrawler costume that is capable of moving via hand held controller (i don't even want to try figuring out all the nickle sodium or whatever cathode controllers... though that would be neat, a project for another year perhaps). I would like it to be able to move and curl as much as i want it too, and also be able to grab and hold small lightweight objects.

Here's what I've got so far:
1 The spine: There is already a wolf's tail designed by Wolftronix that uses a spine made of modified Klixx toys (you know those weird plastic poseable bracelets), paperclips, and bike break wires. The actuator pulls on the bike wire wich is threaded all around the outside of the spine forming a shell around it, when any of the 4 ends are pulled it bends very realistically.

2 My ideas: The Kilixx idea would not be strong enough to really do what i want. So I want to use PVC piping much like Bone's, in fact I plan on (once someone who knows can tell me whether this'll work or not) getting an anitomical Diagram of a Spider Monkeys tail, and cutting PVC piping to mimick it's bone structure, and then set up some kind of ball joint system between each piece. Then using the same system as the Klixx tail, I'll put small eyelets on each piece and run a wire through it's lenght attached to an actuator built into the base "bone" piece.

3. Griping: I believe that to make it able to hold anything I would have to make the tail a bit short of my goal lenght, and then build a short "gripping" end and attach it to the other tail with a small dual directional actuator that will have it curve in on itself either left or right, maybe up and down if there's room for the second piece of the actuator).

4. Ancor: KusanIvy came up with an ingenius system that is sturdy, stable, and gives the tail a slight more natural movement... so with all credit to her I am going to steal the idea (with her permission of course).

I really need some feedback here this is a huge project and I learned after making the rest of this costume that it's a big waste of money to "try" idea's that someone could have easily said "won't work" to. Or going into a project without any expert opinion. Thank you for any and all help!
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Unread 11-06-2003, 07:43 PM   #2
LLC
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See my reply to the other section.

I have tried PVC tubing on another project and it does not do want I think you want.

Try a braided metal tube covered in latex and then you can add minature pulleys and lines or cog belts with micromotors. It would be strong enough and have enough flex to give that multi-jonted effect that I think you are looking for.
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Unread 11-06-2003, 09:33 PM   #3
papaslides
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Yeah i can see how PVC would be too heavy I've also gotten opinions concerning using Speedomiter wire with Epoxy or some other kind of "ribs" made onto it and then a similar pully system used. Another Idea was to use mechanical alluminum and ball joints to make my "bones" and then use wires for muscles. what do you think
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Unread 11-10-2003, 05:02 PM   #4
LLC
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Again it depends on how you want the tail to move.
Such a tail in anatomical sense would have lots of joints that is going to be difficult to work. Also you will not have the advantage of having all the attendent ligature and musculature that suppots it.

As with the wing post there is going to be a tremendous cantivleaver effect.

However, given certain compromises small tubing and joints may work.
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Unread 11-10-2003, 07:18 PM   #5
papaslides
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Yeah I'm not sure how i'm gonna do it yet, but it's gonna take a lot of joints and a lot of time. I'm hoping someone can guide me through the plannin process but i'm not puting to much stock into finding some miracle roboticist who already has solved these problems
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Unread 12-01-2003, 05:49 PM   #6
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If you want it to have good real movement then just use a harness to attach a couple of long strands of thick wire to and cover it in blue cloth. thats what they did in the movie xmen2. If you want some kind of grip movement or something then dont ask me.
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