Erwin Ried has designed an animatronic teddy bear that is implanted with motorized parts. A fully customized 3d skeleton is implanted into the bear’s skin, controlled by servo motors at its shoulders, elbows and neck. The motors are powered by a C# application using a simplistic scripting language.
This application uses the motion tracking and facial recognition features of the Xbox Kinect, mapping the input from the puppeteer’s movement to the motors of the doll’s skeleton. There are two red LEDs fixed under the bear’s cheeks. These illuminate in response to the facial gesture of the puppeteer indicating that teddy feels what you feel.
The video below demonstrates what Erwin’s application sees through the Kinect’s camera side-by-side with the robotic skeleton its controlling. The final design looks amazing and is fun to watch it live.