View Full Version : Animatronic Toucan

01-09-2010, 10:28 AM
Hi all, I'm new to the forum here. First post and all.
Here's a Toco Toucan I just finished building.

Here's a video of Toco singing Lady Gaga's Bad Romance - this was just a test and his beak wasn't finished yet.


And here's my youtube channel where you can see more.

I'm a 2D/3D Animator, Artist, Modelmaker and I have been creating my own Animatronics for years now.
Toco the Toucan's skeleton is all cnc'd on my mill. He has 10 servos, speaker, speaker cabinet,
amp, BS2 stamp to control his iPOD, bluetooth, lipos, foam latex skin, brain and of course his iPOD.
He also has 2,000 hand sewn feathers to finish him off.

He's TOTALLY self contained and I hold him perched on my hand. The only time he's sitting is when I'm
making a video.


Pat Starace



01-09-2010, 02:21 PM
Man that is beautiful work! do you have any build photos? I would love to see how this thing is put together.

01-10-2010, 09:46 PM
Wow, you have mad skills. Taste in music is a little suspect though... :p

01-11-2010, 05:43 PM
Jes, Thanks for the compliment. I didn't take many pictures along, but I'll see what I have.

Adam, Thanks. Ahhhhh the music. Lady Gaga! :-) a little girl asked me for that one.
He was loaded with Christmas tunes, hence the (I think great Feliz Navidad) version he does.
Now I'm getting him ready for the long haul. He'll have over 100 songs ranging from
young children's to frank sinatra. It does take a while to do each song,
multi-tracks to sequence his movements to, and then dump them to the ipod.

Enjoy and I'll post more videos as I make them.

Thanks for the replies.

Pat Starace


01-11-2010, 06:22 PM
Fantastic, what servos did you use?

01-11-2010, 06:37 PM
Welcome to the forum!

He also has 2,000 hand sewn feathers to finish him off.

Wow, you did a good job! This seems like the most tedious part of your construction to me. How long did it take to sew all of these on?


01-15-2010, 07:37 PM
wow incredible work! love it!

01-17-2010, 08:19 PM
I saw the picture on your youtube page of the Tucan sitting on your hand and thought, that's cute. Then I realized what you had said on this page and thought, "Holy crap!? How'd he fit all of that into that bird's body?!?"

I would love to see some build photos or interior photos of Toco's body and head, if he's willing to provide them, of course :p

Excellent work and I hope we see more songs from Toco in the future!

01-21-2010, 10:57 AM
Hey all, Sorry it took so long to get back.

Again, Thanks for all the great compliments.

Orac, Most of the servos are Hobbico CS-35MG, $24.95. Not too bad a price and if I take
out a set of gears @ $15 it just pays to replace the servo for another 10 buckos. So far these have been holding up nicely and they're pretty quiet as well. I do have one bigger servo at the bottom of the mechanics and a micro up top for the eyelids. I tried digitals, they were very noisy and too jittery for my liking.

Also, every servo other than the micro has a servo saver on it. Take my advice, I learned the hard (expensive) way.

Noog, Thanks for the compliment. This entire bird took me about 600 to 700 hours, though many hours are for R&D. I created a link system for the skeleton and cnc'd the parts so many hours were for designing. If I need to make another I can send parts straight out to my mill. If I need to make something smaller, I can remove links, something bigger add links, something totally different just reconfigure the links. So, when it came time for the feathers, I thought.... no problem.... walk in the part..... boy was I wrong. It took me about 75 hours to sew the feathers. I had strings of feathers. I had to find the right style, cut and trim it, iron it to the curvature I need, and sew it on.

Formori, I guess you're talking about this one.


There is alot stuffed in this bird, sorry for the pun, but I just couldn't resist. I'm working on a voice recognition system (that I would wear) and it could bluetooth to the toucan what to say or play. I would love to post some internals, maybe in the future.

I wish I could make a living doing this sort of thing.

Thanks again.

Pat Starace


Thanks again.

05-03-2013, 01:06 PM
Hey all,

Been crazy busy working on projects, and I need your help.
I competed with some friends in NASA Space Apps Challenge and we WON Kennedy Space Center with our Deployable Greenhouse Solution.
I am not a fan of the "please click on my thing and vote for me" posts, but my team from the International Space Apps Challenge is up for the global competition and is looking to get the People's Choice Award. How do we do that? Twitter! There's a voting button on our page, or you can send a tweet to @spaceapps with the hashtag #DIGS to vote for us. Please and thank you! :)