Smart Dolls?

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Is there any interest in making a mechanical doll with arm and head movement?

Danny Choo, founder of Smartdoll, started working on one back in 2014, but it seems the project has been shelved for now. See it here.

He also did a much simpler version that uses pulleys and a backpack. See it here.

If anyone is interested in picking up where he left off, it would be fun to put together a team.

I did one... Well two...one is only head and arms with 9 servos and the other has full body with 22 servos
My goal is to make j pop video clips with my dolls

Wow! That is amazing. You are exceptionally talented. And Thank you so much for the original BJD design. You are the one who really got all of this started here on Thingiverse.

Can I ask which model of servo you used? I am using SG90 and MG90s to try and keep the price low. I have done my best to integrate them into the arm, but they do protrude out the back somewhat. Here are pictures of my servo arm design so far. I would love to see pictures of your arm design.

It uses a pololu maestro 24 board to control the servos. The sequences on the pololu are launched by an external arduino with a mp3 layer to. It's powered by two internal 1650 batteries placed in the feet with an amp and voltage regulator. It can also be powered externaly by a pc power supply.

Movement is pretty good in the video

In the future, I'm so broke right now from buying a second different kind of printer and tons of stuff beside to support that. Printing in Resin.

Though I want to try something different but not servos since the movement is so choppy or either something with a delaying elastic in between or maybe something like stepper motors with strings I don't know yet.
Starting with the eyes, I need to find a way to learn to design and then look at some existing mechanisms in automatas etc

I'm going to design it for my Dollfie Dream dynamite and Sister

Okay, thought I would share the design progress on my robot smart doll. I am using the cheapest servo motors out there, SG90.

What is left to do is design a good internal mounting solution, and then its ready to be printed.

This is going to be done in phases, starting with the chest.

Let me know if you have any thoughts, or if you want to jump into the design work, I will share my files.

Lets do this!

Finished printing the chest. Servo motors are in place. Next step will be wiring up the Arduino, bluetooth reciever, and servos.

Cool progress man!

First test of the servo arm movement. The shoulders are bulky, but I am going to try and accent that with aesthetics. The elbow and wrist movement will be normal sized though with N20 Gear Motors instead of servos.

check out the test video link below:


I got the guts of the head and brain completed. I decided to go for an OLED mouth so I could do lip sync and expression. Holy smokes lip sync animation is hard. I will probably have to commission an artist to draw the key-frames. I did about two words of lip sync in the video below...


Assembly Day! Everything's connected and I slapped together some test code. ..


Just designed an arm. Tested and it works, but I might add a bearing to the shoulder in a later revision to reduce jerkiness.

Here is a video of it in action. .. https://youtu.be/ljtIShDwSXc

Included pic is the design that Inspired me next to my design. (^̮^)

If you know some coding, there are tons of animations both for body and face in Unity. You could send it to a display, or to the servos with not much effort, and bam, endless animations. Other game engines have IK and facial animation systems too. Just don't use the one from Mass Effect Andromeda :D

Thanks for the tip! Will definitely look into this :D

I know VRchat, which runs in Unity, has a good real time lip sync feature.

To be honest, I suck at organic modeling, but I think I'm fairly mechanically minded. I'm also a programmer by profession. If you think there is room for me on the team, I'd love to be a part of it.

Yes! We would love to have you on our team. So far it's just me and one other person. Here is a link to a clip that shows how far we've gotten so far. https://ifunny.co/fun/rmsDittq6?s=cl

We have developed an Android app that enables real-time control over all Servo Motors over Bluetooth and has a record feature that saves servo positions in a text file on the main directory of the Android system. These servo positions are saved as "frames" 20 frames per second. This allows us to make animations and also share them as a text file. This app has been built in MIT App Inventor so it is pretty basic. Right now I'm cleaning up the interface to work on smaller screen phones, and to allow servo position changes with buttons instead of Sliders.

Mechanically speaking, I keep revising the arms as I am using sg90 Servos which are the weakest cheapest servos you can buy. So far I have two 608 skateboard bearings in each arm. This helps with stability and stops it from stripping out the gears. In a future revision it might be possible to eliminate the bearings all together with a Groove designed into the arm pieces.

Awesome, glad to join in. How are we collaborating? It doesn't look like you've put any of the modified parts up here on Thingiverse, but I'm guessing the starting point is this: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2941323 ?

1/3 ball jointed doll BJD 60cm

Everything is being done over Discord. I don't want to release the files publicly until they are finished, with a tutorial. Send me a direct message and I'll send you my Discord username.

Can we call these "Robo-Boobs"?

Great Job!

I bet Danny would be fascinated to hear about your project.... Have you thought about dropping him a line?

Good Name \(^○^)人(^○^)/

I don't want to get on Danny's radar until I'm a little further along in the project. Just started after all.

I was hoping someone would want to jump in and collaborate on the project, I'm about to start designing the shoulders next. I have to cram an sg90 servo into the shoulders without it looking bulky. {(>_<)}

It looks like he is using custom servos for the dolls, a small Li battery pack and a bluetooth module. Checking out several of his videos; the boards/parts may even be from different robot toys. The small limited range of the servos would not create a great robot, but it would be cute, if a bit 'whirry' in noise. There's something familiar about the white gear parts, but I'll have to look further into it. In the older videos from 2014 on the Facebook page /dannychoodotcom ; it shows a doll in pieces at the end, and if anyone has more time to look at these parts maybe we can start there.

Video in question is here;

Awesome job finding that video. I took a screenshot which shows the placement of the servos. Sadly, the picture is too blurry to read the labels. Some of the servos in the torso look like they are tiny Hitecs. I have no idea what that motor in the arms is.

He is making a bigger doll, 1/3 i think or 1/2 because of this. He had to use motors and not readily available servos, because even the tiny 9g micro servos, wont fit the 1/6 scale. On 1/3 you can put a stepper in the leg, or even a pump in the body like how Boston Dynamics do thing noways. Sad thing is, even the BD dog can run for only 15 mins, so it won't be a future housemade from the Jetsons soon :D

Danny dropped the robotics project due to the impossibility of putting together a reliable "consumer grade" robotic doll fully contained in a 60cm (1:3) scale body.

He has however continued producing 1:3 scale cast vinyl dolls using the skeleton frame and joints he developed for that, (I own two of them), and is now launching his line of injection moulded dolls (which will eventually be available as DIY kits) to get round the issue that he can only produce 1000 vinyl dolls a month and they can't keep up with demand.

Vinyls will stay as the high end, with injection moulded at a lower price point, and full DIY injection moulded kits at the bottom of the price bracket.

The best possibility for a BJD robot from Danny would be the "Mirai Plus" under development which will soon be available on a business-to-business basis (but also available to collectors) with a view to it being a store mannequin but going WAY beyond what can currently be done with mannequins as it is a self-supporting bully poseable 1:1 scale BJD, and it's AWESOME.

Plenty of room in one of those for large stepper motors etc :)

https://shop.smartdoll.jp for his current range in case you didn't already know them :)

Attached pic is my two lovely girls :D

Here's the details for SmartDoll Plus. Product pictures show the Plus size with a "standard" SmartDoll for scale. https://shop.smartdoll.jp/products/smart-doll-plus?variant=16709360549959

Thanks for the links. I didn't know he was working on a larger BJD.

Your girls are adorable. I will never get over how cute SmartDoll's eyes are compared to other BJDs.

I'm actually using Danny's free XL Bust 3D Model as the basis for my 1/3 BJD robot. His model is free to download here...


Also here is a picture of my modifications so far.. Mostly I'm just making slots for servo motors.

Awesome! Yeah, there's more than enough room in the XL bust for whatever electronics you feel like cramming in LOL

And thanks! I think they're adorable too.

Definitely 1/3 scale.

I just found this AMAZING twitter account of robot Smart Dolls that dance! Check it out.


Best of all, they documented which servos they used and some of the build process.

I want to design something like that, not necessarily for BJD, more along the humanoid robot way, eg the knee will be a planetary gear, but who say you can't attach a doll like external shell on it. Maybe i should call it, MJD, like mechanically jointed doll. But i can't figure out the thigh joints yet. It is a 3 axis joint, and it need to be sturdy to handle the stress.

MJD!!! Great name! The future is now!