Aluminum Skull Chassis - A New Beginning

I have redesigned the original skull chassis to make it easier to mount sonar devices in the eye sockets. The first design did not have ridges so it would have been difficult to mount them in the sockets equal depths from each other. The new design has eye socket ridges so you can insert a sonar sensor until it hits flush with the internal ridge. I have also added cooling vents to both sides of the head to reduce weight and not for cooling. I think it improves the look of the design, even though it’s only purpose is to reduce the weight. I think it is important to be weight conscious since every added component to the bot makes it that much heavier.

To have one made is rather expensive: $270, but if we can get 20 interested people, it would only cost $37.60 each, (last time I checked was on 4/22.06). The only thing I am not sure about is how the sonar will work mounted in the eye sockets. As a personal project, I was going to de solder the sonar sensors from the board, mount them in the eye sockets, and then wire the sonar terminals to the original board mounted somewhere else on the bot. I have not tested to see if this would work so one needs to take that in to consideration when deciding to join the pool. The eye sockets could be used to mount anything the heart desires, it does not need to be a sonar sensor. The bottom of the skull will have four drilled and taped holes for mounting. The screws needed are the same standard screws used to mount the mini-ab board which are #4-40 screws.

The rough dimentions are 2.5" long by 2" wide (top down dimensions)
Estimated weight: 0.215 lbs.

Those interested, post in this thread. Mean while here is the latest image showing 4 views of the design:

Heh, I take back the “pumkin-head”.
“He” looks awesome.


I’m pretty sure that the sonar would work fine, housed within the aluminum, provided that they’re spaced the same distance appart as they are on the Ping))).
(I assume that’s the sonar brand that you’re using?)
If there’s problems with it cutting down on the signal reception, one can always just take a drill and countersink those eyesockets slightly until optimal signal is reached.

In fact, you might want to think about doing that anyway (provided that it still athstetically pleases you), because a slight funnel shape to the eye sockets might even give the Ping a better signal than it normally has.
I’ve done experimenting before with the same sort of effect using a microphone and a funnel, and it definitely increases the volume coming in.
I would imagine that the ping would work the same way.

Anyhow, you can count me as number 2 of 20.

Wow Mike!
That is a MUCH better design, I mean don’t get me wrong I liked the other head. But it looked too skully (hows that for a word!?)
This design has a much more subtle skull appearance with a melding of organic and mechanical. 8)
This would go great with some of the exoskeleton designs I’m trying to work out. “Trying” due to the flood of work my dads company sent me to evaluate
and suddenly I now have no time for anything.
However, I digress, VERY COOL, count me in for one, maybe two if I can sneak past the wife! :wink:


I’ll take one or two.

Is the Sonar an SRF-04 or a Ping?

How about some holes for mounting LED’s?


I guess that makes me number five? I really like it. Don’t destroy an expensive sonar board though, you can buy new transponders Check out the bottom of the page. The one with the grid instead of the mesh would look cool.


For some reason, I was thinking that the Ping’s board would be needed…
But that’s what Mike’s sensor board is for.


Both of them look nice, to me.

You were right Nick, a PING board is needed. The eye sockets in the head are based off of Parallax’s PING))) Sensor. The dimensions of the eye socket are 16.6mm and the Parallax sensor is 16.3mm O.D. this gives .3mm clearance to allow for easy yet close fit.

My sensor board that I am working on provides a convenient place to pug in the PING sensor, it does not, however, have any integrated circuitry supporting ultrasonic sensor elements as stand alone devices. You take the PING sensor, plug it into the board, the main 10 pin connector will hook up to the microcontroller with the PING output line.

Kenny mentioned Holes for LEDs, It cost to much as it is. Anyone can drill 5mm holes anywhere on the head if it’s needed later.

I was going to hack the Parallax PING sensor to use it for my design. I can’t make the eye sockets to accommodate every device out there, but as it is right now, it will kindly accept the Parallax PING sensor (hacked). The transponders on that site, which one were you talking about?

I believe that he was talking about: … catid=1600

Yep, that was the one. I just thought it looked good though, I didn’t look at any specs.

I have some photos to show what the aluminum bot head looks like machined!

I met a machinist on another forum and I had posted photos of my design in response to another members post regarding eMachineShop. Well This person liked my design and was looking for a challenging project and said he would be willing to machine my design.

He’s not 100% complete with it yet, but you can see what it looks like at 85% completion. Un fortunately I am at work and I can’t get the photos on this forum, but I emailed it to my self so when I get home today, I will post the 3 high-res images in this thread.

This design is the older design to use the Parallax PING sensor. Unfortunately, the post was made awhile back before I made changes to accept the cmos camera. I will
just have to have another one made to start a collection. :laughing:

I don’t really know alll that much about robotics but that is a really sweet design, would it just be a roaming skull? THAT WOULD BE AMAZING!!!

[size=150]**Here are the images! **[/size]

The Head is about 85% complete. The ears still need to be drilled and the top crown of the head needs to be machined to rid the flat top. :laughing:

I resized the images below to fit the forums better.

The bottom view:

The front view:

The side view:

      1. COOL COOL COOL, thats looks so sick, you dont even know

man, i wish i were as cool as that thing :laughing:

it looks very well machined too

He, he.
That is very cool. I love it! 8)
Now all you will need to do is grow some flesh over him and he’ll say “I’ll be baack.”
Man I feel like I have been gone way too long, you have really been busy.


I hope to have more pictures of the finished head by then end of this week. I discussed having another one made that will accept the PC53XS cmos camera, but that won’t be for a while though. Tom is very busy machining stuff for his customers and time is very limited.

I will experiment with the original design using the Parallax PING sensors as I had originally planed. In the long run, I can have switch-able heads like changing bits in a screw driver… :laughing:

Gosh darnit.
Gee golly.
Holey moley.



I especially like his “graduation cap”.


The finished head is slightly different than the orginal design but very close. Tom did this with limited dimensions and had to compromise some things. Also the head has a true dome, this is something eMachineShop does not allow in the software.

Here is the finished head:

Click thumbnail to enlarge

Had a few minutes to pop in and look around real quick… :laughing:
Mike that is soooooooo awesome!
If I weren’t your friend I’d be really jealous, awe the h*ll with it. I’M JEALOUS ANYHOW!!



thats amazing, so cool :smiley: :smiley:

id have to agree with tinman, im also jealous of you