If horror movies have proven anything, it’s that the scariest things in the world are dolls and pretty much anything related to the circus or carnival. Therefore, it is safe to assume that a ventriloquist’s dummy, which sits neatly in the Venn diagram between dolls and the carnival, is the most terrifying thing in existence. Maybe it’s the dummy’s dead eyes or its unnaturally rosy cheeks that cause it to fall squarely into the uncanny valley, but that’s where it definitely resides. Sadist Redditor WaitingForRetirement decided to add to the nightmare fuel by building this Arduino-controlled dummy head.
This dummy head may look like it came out of some unnamed — yet definitely haunted — curiosities shop, but it was actually designed and constructed from scratch by WaitingForRetirement. They carefully 3D-modeled the head in Autodesk Maya mesh-modeling software, and then 3D-printed it in multiple pieces. Those pieces were then masterfully sanded, primed, and painted to look exactly like the textbook picture of a ventriloquist’s dummy. WaitingForRetirement could have stopped there, and the dummy’s head would still have been extremely disconcerting, but they took it a step further with Arduino control.
An Arduino microcontroller development board is connected to a handful of hobby servo motors that close and open the eyelids, move the eyes, turn the head, and open and close the mouth. Right now, WaitingForRetirement is using a pair of joysticks connected to the Arduino to control that movement, but plans to eventually do so with software control. WaitingForRetirement doesn’t explain the purpose of the dummy head or what he’ll do with it, but we know it’ll end up terrifying somebody.