Rick P recently attended the Silicon Valley Comic Con in San Jose, dressing up as “Elvis Captain Kirk.” Not to be outdone, however, his wife decided to go as an Andorian, Star Trek characters with distinctive forehead-mounted antennae. Of course, her antennae “couldn’t let the antenna just be static,” so Rick set to work making the little appendages flail about.
The build is quite simple, with a micro servo body stuffed into each of the two purchased non-moving antennae, modified with a Dremel tool. Once stuffed inside and hot glued, they were mounted to a headband via servo horns, wrapped to it with a thin piece of paracord. The device is controlled by an Adafruit ItsyBitsy board, with power provided by a 9V battery.
Code can be found in the project’s write-up, with independent control for the two servos, and a fairly basic routine to make them wiggle around. The antennae survived the comic con (though she was quite careful getting out of the car), and the battery lasted the entire show with no loose connections, thanks to extra tape and glue. Unfortunately, the pair found that in a huge expo center most people didn’t notice the antennae moving, and Rick notes that he should have included a potentiometer to modify movement in real time.
While there wasn’t quite enough movement for everyone to notice, it’s still neat to see what you can do with relatively simple tools (and an Etsy search for alien antennae). Check it out mounted and rotating in the first video below, with another view of it without a wig in the second.