If you’ve ever had the feeling that “big brother is watching you,” Graham Jessup’s Watchman will at least leave you with no doubt. This 3D-printed, low-poly design head contains a Raspberry Pi Camera, along with a Raspberry Pi Zero board and Google AIY Vision HAT to allow it to recognize and track your face. This computing setup sends servo positions to an onboard Arduino Uno, which controls a number of servos via a shield that enable physical eyeballs to follow a person’s face left and right as well as up and down. There are even eyelids that can open and close, though this appears to be a secondary feature, mostly opting instead for a fully open robo-staredown mode.
You can see a brief clip of it shadowing an off-camera head in the first video below. The second, however, gives a bit more context as to what’s going on, as you can see Jessup’s face TV follows him around using a head tracking algorithm. In order to calibrate the eyes with the camera in the robot’s forehead, lasers were temporarily embedded in the eyeballs to help visualize the effect. Notably, Jessup used a fake face for detection here, so as not to point lasers at his eyes.
If the eyeball mechanisms look familiar, they’re actually a modified version of Will Cogley’s eyeballs, which we previously covered. Some might also point out its similarity to the Watchmen comic book/movie’s Dr. Manhattan, as you’d need only a slight modification to turn the camera dot into a hydrogen representation!