Making a Monster By shinbe

Our task

To engineer a monster and manufacture a prototype that has at least 3 functions.

Design Breif

This project is about designing a monster based around animatronics, using the skills of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathmatics. Currently we are making a spider/scorpion/human hybrid, known as the HUPION.

Introduction to a Monster

What is a Monster?

Firstly what is a Monster? Most people associate a monster being a creature that harms and scares people. A monster can be really...anything. The definition of a Monster is the most subjective thing you could ever encounter on the subjective metre. Some examples of the "typical" monster could be xenomorph, Freddie Kruger and the boogeyman.

Why animatronics?

The reason this project is solely based around animatronics is because it's practical and implementable. Animatronics are easy, safe and efficient for use to build a monster. Building a monster with a nuclear reactor would be unsafe, inefficient and not practicable for the school environment and so fourth.

The "No EYED"

My Definition of a Monster

In my perspective a monster should be traumatising, unheard of and utmost terrifying to the victim. A monster usually originates from someone's imaginations or dream but in my perspective I think a monster originates from multiple horrific moments bonded together to make one creature.

A werewolf

What do Monsters scale from?

Monsters can range from the tiniest ant to the largest dragon, a monster doesn't have to be on a specific set of size and limb but rather can be anything. A monster doesn't even need to be a creature. As long as it inflicts harm it is a monster e.g "A Shadow". Below lists the wide variety of a appearance of a monster.

A heavily mutilated human like creature

Details of Our Monster

First initial concept

Now I shall introduce you to our monster. The monster that our group all feared. A Hupion AkA Human / Spider / scorpion. This monster that we created originated from our fear of insects. It has a normal spider body, but instead of having eight eyes, it has one eye with human features to have enhanced vision, and a scorpions tail. This tail injects the victim with a deadly poison which will ensure certain death. The behaviour this monster has are spider like. Fast reflexes and always hunting. Below is a more comprehensive list of features from our monster.

Our Monster and its features

Our Monster : Our monster is hybrid featuring a spiders body, scorpions tail, Human eye and human hands for legs.

Behaviour : Our monsters has three functions or "Behaviours". The first function is to detect a certain sound in which after that going into defence position. The second is to be able to move around and detect walls. The third is still yet to be discussed in the group

Background Story : This beast came from the BEL (Biological Engineering Lab). Engineered by CENSORED, this creature was an experimentation of splicing insect DNA with human DNA. The splicing was difficult and throughout the journey have been the cause of many deaths to test subjects. Subjects were chosen between the age of 18 to 30 so do not worry, it weren't children. On Janurary 11th 2008 the team spliced scorpion, spiders and human DNA together to form one entity. Surprisingly the team found that human DNA spliced with spider DNA rather quickly and complimented each other massively creating a specimen with a threat level of 5/10, however incorporating the scorpions DNA changed and broke the DNA structure completely. This caused the specimen to react and change behaviour immediately. Unusual hormones from the human DNA started to form and the entity began feeling emotions. Especially hate and anger.

Equipment/Technology : Our monster is going to be based on the Lego mind storm set. The use of little bits were considered however, the way we will approach the making of the shell of the monster would make the circuit will be damaged and unsafe for usage. The skeleton will be based of the ev3 Spik3r set but modified for our standards. The coding language will be ev3 Language as it is the most compatible and easy to use for Lego mind storms.

Technical Sketch

Below is shown a sketch of the monster we are building, the materials used are Legos, Paper Mache, Wire Frame and Plastic

Technical Sketch of our Monster
A similar design of our monster...

Godzilla vs Randall (Monsters INC)

Similarities : Randall and Godzilla both have a sinister appearance, Randall and Godzilla both have tails, Randall and Godzilla are both reptiles, Randall and Godzilla have scaled skin, Randall and Godzilla both have teeth, Randall and Godzilla both have a purpose of inflicting harm, Randall and Godzilla both have limbs, Randall and Godzilla both have eyes

Differences (Randell to Godzilla) Randall is more civilised while Godzilla is not, Randall has 8 limbs while Godzilla has 4, Randall has 3 "antennas" while Godzilla doesn't, Randall is fully capable of changing body colour while Godzilla can only glow red, Randall's eyes are protruding out of this head while Godzilla has its eyes still intact to its skull, Randall has 3 fingers with swollen tips while Godzilla has claws, Randall has facial expressions which are distinct while Godzilla has no facial expressions,

Differences (Godzilla to Randall) : Godzilla has a primitive instinct while Radnall is educated and more civilised, Godzilla has spikes which are protruding out of its back while Randell does not, Godzilla can roar while Randell can only speak, Godzilla has a dinosaur body structure whereas Randell looks more like a lizard, Godzilla is extremely large compared to Randell, Godzilla is able to fully submerge and stay underwater while Randell cannot swim, Godzilla does not incorporate into any sort of monster group while Randell does

A monster

Questioning about Monsters

Why do we question about such a simple topic? The reason we question is to ensure our knowledge and understanding of the topic for us to fully know the boundaries of the topic. Not questioning any topic will leave you with limited understanding and knowledge. Questioning will also let you see a wide variety of variations that you never knew to the topic. This is the reason why you question

The questions we did for The Monster

Predicting the future

My personal prediction for this project will play out like this. The three functions will mainly focus on movement and intelligence of the AI for the HUPION such as answering questions and such. As for the casing, it will consist of mainly papier-mâché with some wiring and an external casing so the paper Mache doesn't drop down the Lego and damage the circuitry.

Prototyping

Once we got hands onto our materials we were using, we started to prototype and make the ideas come to life. Our first prototype was the wheels (movement) for the spiders. Below is the first prototype for the wheels.

Extremely Basic Prototype of Movement

We then moved onto the second feature which was the scorpion tail, this was also and extremely basic prototype and only showed the skeleton of the tail while on the motor. EDIT : This prototype is discontinued as we have found an extremely efficient way of transportation using a smaller wheel.

Scorpions tail Prototype
Base shape and skeleton of the tail

As we dove deeper into prototyping we decided to come up with a short log book marking our journey on the way

Prototyping log book

Log 1: Our first prototype of the spider mechanism failed and caused a malfunction during the movement test. The cause of this malfunction was shortage of a piece, therefore obstructing the piece that helps the movement of the spiders legs. We are considering taking apart the spider to rebuild and consider rethinking the design of our current project. In my opinion, rebuilding would be the best option the reassure the future of our project.

Log 2: The Hupion has been rebuilt and is in better condition. The second prototype uses clothes hanger for the mobility. We have solved the first prototypes problem and now is fully function able, however, the prototypes durability is at its lowest and will be reinforced in the next prototype.

First beta chassis

Log 3: Our group has been focusing on programming the spider. 3 functions has been added like, Moving when seeing an object in front of the sensor, Responding to questions and advanced movements. This will ensure the spider to be fully in depth and entertaining towards to user.

Program to move on sound

Log 4: The spider has been breaking apart a lot lately, so we are trying to figure a way to reinforce the chassis. The connector between the main wheels and the motor is extremely weak so we are trying a way to strengthen the connection while keeping the spiders original intended shape. With that in mind a new part was successfully found and the spider was now strengthened. Withstanding rough terrain and other harsh conditions without breaking.

Reinforced chassis
Fleshy Bag

Problems

Although the process seemed fair and easy going, the reality is we traversed through many obstacles blocking our way of the final design. This part of the Adobe Spark Page is mainly going to be focusing on the problems and such. One such problem is the chassis breaking up a lot of the time. This was due to the weak connection between the legs and the motor itself. This was fixed however by adding a blue 2 - 1 connector piece. The wire visible in the first beta chassis connecting the infer red sensor to the brick actually blocked some movement of the top right leg. This also restricted movement and the ability to traverse rough terrain consistently without being too unreliable. The programming had trial and errors such as the sound detector not detecting clicks.

Reflection

We have journeyed through many obstacles and challenges, those included how we were going to build the monster to how does this define as a monster. Array, Jaden and I were determined to successfully complete this journey one step at a time and at our best of our ability. We learned and overcomes engineering faults such as wrong scaling and concepts that weren't available. Our first concept was a zombie Which had an exposed rib cage and blistered skin. In those blisters contain thousands of infected mosquitoes which would eat its victims. The thought of this concept was very appealing to our minds but once we were on the practical side, it was not effective and therefore, scraped and started anew. As we brainstormed for new ideas the Hupion came up and astonished us. The design and practicality met the requirements. In this case, we started to execute the starting of the idea with a technical drawing. This educated us on how important it was to make the image up to scale and the value of mathematics when engineering and designing a project. After this we started questioning "what makes this a monster?" Over 90 questions popped up branching of that primary question. Prototyping was a massive issue since we didn't have the right materials to prototype the monster with, however we overcame that obstacle by thinking of solutions to execute prototyping. In doing so we learned how to problem solve and think of solutions to a very tight problem. Overall, reflecting on this subject reveals many things we overcame and accomplished by problem solving, learning effective time management and engineering.

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