A puppeteer and cosplay enthusiast who goes by TRP-Chan has turned Portal 2's bumbling robo-ball Wheatley into an impressive puppet that's just as animated as its video game counterpart. This is something you'll definitely want to see in motion.
That's right, despite how it looks this thing is actually a complex puppet, not just a motorized ball running through some preset routine. It has some pretty high-tech guts, according to the artist:
The audio buttons alone account for a ton of wires. Ten buttons and pos/neg to each means before you even start counting things like amp, speaker, audio chip and his LEDs, there's 20 wires snaking around in there taking up space. Unfortunately the space they're taking up is the spot I'd chosen for his speaker. Said speaker should be arriving this evening (I had to order a new one.. the first one was too big) so I'll be doing some fussing tonight to make it all fit.
And on controlling Wheatley (which its creator is pretty good at, as you'll see below):
He's roughly life-sized at approximately 12 inches across (might be an inch or two short of Wheatley's real diameter) and works as a puppet, using the hole in his back for access to his controls. His eyeplate and eyelids both move. He also plays 10 quotes from the game. His eye is lit up in some of the pictures there. I really wish my camera could deal with the light better. You can actually see all the details when it's lit up, but the camera just washes them all out.
See the Wheatley puppet in action in the video and gallery below, or, if you've got some craft skills of your own, see instructions on how to make your own here. It's quite the project from the sound of it, however — TRP-Chan has been hard at work on it since April.