Cosplay designer Jason Caulfield recently won Best of Show at Denver Comic Con with his colossal Akulva Tauren Frost Death Knight. I know I’m really enchanted by the eyes, but a standout feature for this animatronic costume is the speech. In fact, Jason got so many requests for the details that he created a short video to explain. First, I just want you to know that the only reason this costume is fully visible in this video is because it is partially on the floor. Normally this rig stands 8′ tall and is towering at Renaissance Faires!
Apparently there are two Arduinos used in the head, one is used for the eye blinking while the other is used with an Adafruit Wave Shield to change the pitch of Jason’s voice. The signal goes to a PicoTalk which causes a servo in the mouth to synch for the speech. Sound output is from an amplifier and subwoofer near the bottom of the costume.
You can check out the history of this build on Jason’s previous video. It started as a boxy looking piece, but gradually became a more sculpted realistic animal look. There are just so many improvements from the details of the facial expressions to the fur pile and garments. The dedication required for this project blows my mind and I’m so glad Akulva received the top award. If you would like to work on a cosplay of your own with some speech magic, do check out our learning guide for the Wave Shield Voice Changer. You can be Darth Vader or anything else you imagine. Besides, nowadays with all the privacy issues, disguising your voice may just become the norm. Have fun building and send us a video of your work.
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