Photo shamelessly stolen from Scott Axworthy (my partner in crime): Pumpkin Prowl 2009 Album
Videos: One with the ugly lights on (and my lovely assistant for size reference) and one with it in its natural habitat:
The giant spider finally made a real debut this year, albeit missing some components (the mandible/fang rig just didn't get finished to add movement on those bits ... for example).
10 linear actuators (firgelli mostly), 20 auto relays, 10 IO controlled relays from a serial controller, lots of wires. About 12' in leg span, weighs a ton (not really, but about 100 pounds is a good guess ... and that is not including the base ... another 20 lbs there).
Each of the front four legs has two automated joints, however I did kill one on Saturday night, as it jammed and burned itself out. I was thinking an inline fuse to each actuator might prevent this, and the fine folks at Firgelli (whom I am trying to get to sell me just the motor for the $120 actuator so I can save some cash) also suggested the same thing, so next version will have fuses inline with every actuator.
What also did not make it this year was the "interactive" aspect. Instead of just running random all of the time, I have a special spider egg (you can see the eggs in the video and photos) that really stands out which randomly "shakes" as if the spider inside is about to hatch. A motion sensor then connects to the IO board and triggers when someone reaches for the special egg.
I could have gotten that one done in time for Sat or Sun night pumpkin prowl, but after watching how most people were already so scared of the spider to actually approach it, I thought it might be hopeful at best that people would then reach for a shaking spider egg (which has multicolor, fading LEDs that provide a visual silhouette around the spider inside).
More thought will have to go into this concept I think ... and more time ... need to finish things like the animatronic fangs ... will it ever be done?!?!?!?!