Personality Core: Part 1

A while ago I had a page dedicated to an A.I. that was running in my dorm room that could turn lights on and off when commands were spoken. My roommate and I have decided to overhaul the system substantially, collaborating with our friends and neighbors at MIT to develop custom software. We decided along the way that rather than having an ominous presence in our room, the system should have some physical representation.

Flash forward a few weeks to the launch of Portal 2. The game brought to our attention the loveable, but ultimately evil, Wheatley. After some discussion we decided that a personality core like Wheatley would be appropriate for our room.

The Aperture Science Personality Constructs, also known as Personality Cores or Personality Spheres, are independent spheres containing advanced personality software created by Aperture Science for use in their laboratories. They are the backbones of the facility.

The creators of Portal were able to give the personality cores a tremendous amount of character despite their apparent simplicity.

The below video is a spoiler! At 00:40 you can really get a sense of how expressive these spheres can be.

Armed with images and videos to work from, I have spent the past couple days getting my ideas together on how to go about building this thing. Below are some of my scanned drawings. The design has progressed a lot, but I have had to make concessions and eliminate some of the movements to reduce the complexity of the build. I am also far from set on the current version of the bot. The eye lid still needs to be designed and a satisfactory way to attach the outer ring to the swing arms I have sketched has yet to be worked out. I am going to continue to hammer out a few details of the design on paper, then transition to a mix of SolidWorks and a foam-core mock-up. From there I will begin to gather all of the materials and parts. I know how I am going to build this, but am saving that for a later post. The sensor and micro controller portion will also be saved for a later post.

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4 Responses to Personality Core: Part 1

  1. Steven Jens says:

    Ahh yes! Looking forward to work on this Luke!
    Also, the predator feature of the camera is one of the most exciting things! 😀

  2. Scott says:

    Cool project! If you want you may be able to use my SolidWorks model. I made it mainly for rendering and animation but it may be a good place to start. (

    • Daniel O'Malley says:

      Scott, sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. Thank you for the reference file. It is greatly appreciated!

  3. Elizabeth C. says:


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