Cheeky Monkey is far and away the most popular of a series of shoulder-sitting
animatronic robots I have built. Cheeky is an animatronic pet monkey who sits on
my shoulder. He runs off an
same PIC that Ziggy
uses, and is controlled
with an RF remote control.
He is based on the Beanie Baby "Mooch",
which I bought on Ebay. I opened it up and pulled all the stuffing out, cut and
reattached his head and both arms, then inserted a steel armature supporting
three micro servos into the body cavity, actuating each arm and the head nod.
The fourth servo is contained within the head and actuates the head turn. These
four degrees of freedom allow Cheeky to look around and wave at people, shake
his head, scratch behind his ear, hide when he is shy and perform a number of
unique behaviours, 17 in total. The black and white four motor version of Cheeky
supercedes the original version which had only two motors with limited
behaviours and was based on the brown Beanie "Bongo".
You can see a picture and video of the original below.
Unlike Willy, Cheeky is semi-autonomous, reverting to random behaviours if no
command is sent to him after a short period. This means that I don't have to
keep pushing buttons to keep him interesting; he will look around and wave at
people all by himself. I find this makes him much more lifelike as he is always
moving, and I can still override him to send him commands if I want him to wave, high-five
or perform another action.
I got such a reaction from people whenever I wore Cheeky out in public I knew I had to design a toy
shoulder sitting monkey for the world to enjoy. I designed two small cam mechanisms which replicate all four motions
to run the arms with one small toy grade motor and the head with a second to reduce the cost. After seven years of development, I am
finally bringing the toy to market in partnership with Kablamm
and Wow Stuff as "Dave the Funky Monkey". You should be able
to buy Dave in a store near you (if he's not sold out!). Video of the two-motor
prototype and the final toy can be seen below.
More info on Dave can be found here.
Click on the thumbnails below for video: