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I like the cartoonish simplicity of this carved pumpkin with eyes that move. I contacted the Belgian maker, Jan De Coster, to find out a bit more about it. Jan says:

I have a passion for character design and I love making things nobody else is making. I have been doing that for a very long time. I started making all kinds of robot characters a few years ago. In one of these experiments I made this simple asymmetric eye rig.

But the character I made it for didn’t really stick. Last spring we planted a bunch of pumpkin seeds in the garden, but only 4 seeds came out. Of those 4 plants only one pumpkin started growing, so we knew this was going to become something special. :)

At some point I got the idea to get the asymmetrical eyes back and put them in this pumpkin. So last week we made some soup and I started working on the rest of the head. I designed the eyes in Illustrator first and then I traced them onto the pumpkin. I did most of the sculpting with a Dremel and the flexible extension cord so the pumpkin juice wouldn’t kill the motor. :)

And then we inserted the eyes and started playing around with him in the garden. I had spent a lot of time thinking about the perfect body for him, but in the end it’s just a brick with black cloth around it, to mimic a posture of his arms underneath.

The eyes are moved by 2 simple servos. They are linked to an Arduino, that makes more or less random movements. Random in direction, but with some character in these movements. We don’t really have a Halloween tradition here in Belgium, but he will be watching the street the following days :) You never know who comes along.

Peter the Cyber Pumpkin

[Spotted in the Make: Forum!]

Laura Cochrane

I’m an editor at MAKE and CRAFT. I like hiking, biking, and etymology.


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