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Transforming Elvis to the Terminator - Part 1

This is the first step in transforming Elvis to "Elvis the Terminator," an ongoing project. This first article is about opening your Elvis to reveal some of its electronics. The next article will be about removing the skin and so forth.

So, are you ready to get started?

Support the Elvis upside down, either in an empty trash can or in your lap. If batteries are installed, you will need to remove them before beginning this step, since you could slip and make a short circuit in it. If you look at the base, you will see that there are a lot of screws to remove. Make sure not to forget about the ones in the middle of the white standoffs. See the picture below.

Base Bottoom

After all the screws are removed, it's time to start on the vest. The picture below shows that the vest is connected in the front on 2 posts. Remove these connections first by prying up on them with a screw driver, going up and over the post.

Once you have these connections loose, the next step is to release the bottom base from the upper torso. By doing this, you will be able to get to the electronics. Notice that around the bottom of the vest, there are locking tabs holding it in place. There are 2 more locking pins; one on each shoulder. By pulling up the vest from the bottom, you will come to the point where the vest won't move. Twist the locking key 90' to unlock and pull it out. See photos below.

Now that all the locking pins are removed, it's time to remove the vest. The vest on each shoulder has a connector on it. These connectors are for the IR transmission and receiving on the vest pocket for the right and left. Remove the connectors and then pull the vest up and over Elvis's head. We are now ready to examine the insides.

Finish opening the base from the torso. Be careful not to pull on the wires too firmly. On the base, you will see the pink speakers; one on the left, one on the right. The PCB on the far left is the audio amp, and the upper center is the main PCB (or "brains" if you will.) Front center is the audio interface board which intergrates the mic and audio in from the CPU and out to the speakers.

Next is a look under the shoulders. This is where the head is controlled; it can tilt right, left, up and down. Two motors control these functions in the X-Y axis using worm gears and a gear box. Notice the large silver washer. In between is a thick rubber washer, so the motor gear box can move without breaking or locking up. The board to the right of the center motor is an HBridge circuit for controlling the movement of the motors fowards and backwards. Also in the motor gearbox is a PT sensor for detecting speed and lack of motor movement. On the far left and far right is the board for the IR sensors on the vest. The center bottom board is a power distrubution board.

This ends the first tutorial of many as we transform Elvis to "Elvis the Terminator." Thank you to everyone that has helped me in the ongoing project. This will be a long undertaking, but well worth it. I hope you all enjoy it!

Stay tuned for more to come! GWJax

The WowWee Alive Elvis "Elvinator" Project: Quick Links

Elvinator Project Thread: Info and Teasers  |  Elvinator Source Code Thread  

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-15 of 28 | Latest Comment | 1 2 Next »

February 4, 2008 11:15 AM

He He, Enjoying every minute of this, Now I gota go to work and wait 24hrs for the next installment, The suspense is killing me.

People yearn after this robotic dream, but you can't strip your life of all meaning, emotion and feeling and expect to function.


Robotic madness http://robosapienv2-4mem8.page.tl/

February 4, 2008 6:52 PM

4mem8 Glad your having fun with it, I know I and too. Just wait and see when we get to make the motors move.. GWJax

GWJax, To Hack and make mods on robots is a life style and comes natural and not by choice. If a robot has a screw to open it then it must be opened!

February 5, 2008 8:34 PM

I skimmed since I don't have an elvis.  But regardless it looks like a cool project.  Nice Work Jax!

Keep the robotic dreams,
-BG
http://www.robocommunity.com/article/12811/Cool-Programs-To-Use-For-Roboquad-...

February 6, 2008 4:44 PM

Thanks BG, It's going to be very hard...GWJax

GWJax, To Hack and make mods on robots is a life style and comes natural and not by choice. If a robot has a screw to open it then it must be opened!

February 6, 2008 5:25 PM

Good luck!

http://www.lepythedino.com It's great to see everyone again!

February 6, 2008 5:35 PM

Thanks Lepy, Does any one out there have an Elvis Alive? GWJax

GWJax, To Hack and make mods on robots is a life style and comes natural and not by choice. If a robot has a screw to open it then it must be opened!

February 6, 2008 10:26 PM

I know I don't, SOB. SOB .SOB Tears of misery. *Changes T shirt because it's wet*

People yearn after this robotic dream, but you can't strip your life of all meaning, emotion and feeling and expect to function.


Robotic madness http://robosapienv2-4mem8.page.tl/

February 20, 2008 11:02 PM

Hey GW Jax,

Is there something describing what you are planning to have when all is said and done?  I have $80 to spend at sharper images, and so this looks pretty tempting, although I don't want to get it and turn it into the terminator without knowing what the end product will be. 

Thanks for your time.  It looks awesome so far. 

mhead 

February 21, 2008 12:09 AM

mhead10: You are in for some pretty amazing effects, I have not seen the whole thing as GW is still making it, But you will not be dissapointed with the end result. Hang in there.

People yearn after this robotic dream, but you can't strip your life of all meaning, emotion and feeling and expect to function.


Robotic madness http://robosapienv2-4mem8.page.tl/

February 21, 2008 4:02 PM

mhead10 said: Hey GW Jax, Is there something describing what you are planning to have when all is said and done?  I have $80 to spend at sharper images, and so this looks pretty tempting, although I don't want to get it and turn it into the terminator without knowing what the end product will be.  Thanks for your time.  It looks awesome so far.  mhead 
mhead10, follow the threads in the elvis fourms and also follow the coding thread as well. This project is a hard and worth wild complete mod and hack of the Elvis Alive. We have dubed it the Elvinator as it will be part Elvis and part Terminator. There will be coding envolved and circuit making and mold making along with sculpting. All this is to come. You won't be disapointed in the end results and thanks 4mem8 for the comment. This project is being worked on almost every day since I have opened it up. If you only have $80.00 to spend or you can get the Elvis bust for 80 bucks then do it. I paid 129.99 and thought it was a steal vers the 249.97 price tag on it. If you are willing to learn robotics, then this is the project to do. If you don't know electronics then I would suggest you to start learning. A few great books for the beginers is the book Electronics for Dummies and Robotics for the Evil Genius. I find my self refering to it quite often among all other books I have. This project is not a weekend hack but a few months of hacking and building. So if your ready for that get the bust of Elvis and start reviewing the articles and threads. Do the testing listed in the thread for coding the Elvinator and have fun with it. GWJax

GWJax, To Hack and make mods on robots is a life style and comes natural and not by choice. If a robot has a screw to open it then it must be opened!

February 21, 2008 4:05 PM

Also if you have any questions about a certin part of the elvis please PM me or post to one of my threads and I'll help you out.

GWJax, To Hack and make mods on robots is a life style and comes natural and not by choice. If a robot has a screw to open it then it must be opened!

February 21, 2008 10:43 PM

GW Jax,

Thanks a lot for the words of encouragement.  It's really cool to see you take the time to write such good comments to everyone, including me.  I really appreciate the suggestions and book help!

 Well, by what you and others say, it looks like I'm probably going to have to go and buy elvis for only 90 bucks now.

 Can't wait to start working on it and I can't wait to see what we end up with.

 Thanks again for all of your input!!

February 21, 2008 11:04 PM

Just remember mhead10, above all have fun.Laughing

People yearn after this robotic dream, but you can't strip your life of all meaning, emotion and feeling and expect to function.


Robotic madness http://robosapienv2-4mem8.page.tl/

February 21, 2008 11:41 PM

Well guys,

I went to sharperimage.com to use my gift card after you guys pumped me up for it, and I found out that sharper image is no longer taking gift cards due to bankruptcy.  I'll have to see if I can scrounge up enough to justify how lame sharper image is:( The extra stinky part is that I'm just barely 3 days late.

February 21, 2008 11:50 PM

Bummer, That's really bad luck. SO you can't use that 80 bucks at all??

People yearn after this robotic dream, but you can't strip your life of all meaning, emotion and feeling and expect to function.


Robotic madness http://robosapienv2-4mem8.page.tl/

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Back to Top | Comments 1-15 of 28 | Latest Comment | 1 2 Next »

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