View Full Version : [Project] Jurassic Park Animatronic Dinosaur Super Project

01-24-2010, 02:51 PM
I'm planning on acquiring a very small piece of land (few acres maybe) to experiment with animatronics for my 1/1 scale dinosaur models. I'm currently sculpting busts and maquettes right now, and some of these will be used to some degree in helping create the larger foam-rubber animatonic puppets for outdoor use on a private test site.

The idea behind this test site/park is to find out just how much realism and mobility can be obtained from an animatronic model of this size in an outdoor environment. It is also a chance for me to make JP dinosaurs for my own enjoyment, as it's unlikely I will be able to use these designs in a business park or public attraction due to legal/copyright reasons. My 'test' park is for non profit use and is only intended as a learning experience.

One of the main problems I'd like to overcome is the weather issues, and its effects on the models and their foam skins. The models will have to cope with heatwaves to freezing downpours. Any theme park goers here may like to offer advice on this project based on what they may have seen?

I would actually like to experiment with several species of dinosaur of all shapes and sizes, and especially create a group of animals, or a herd of say, Parasaurolophus. The dinosaurs I may add to this test park are:

T-rex, Hadrosaurs, Raptors, Pteranodons, Stegosaurs, Compies, Pachys and/or Dilophosaurus. If I did a Brachiosaur, it would likely just be the neck section (treetop scenes).

I will be making short videos of each mock paddock with the dinosaurs in action for my website (www.myjurassicpark.com (http://www.myjurassicpark.com)) and Youtube. My goal is to produce the best animatronic dinosaurs ever for an outdoor exhibition, and I joined this forum in the hope I will learn a lot and get my animatronic projects going over the next few years.

I plan to start with a single 1/1 scale dinosaur species and see just how realistic an animatronic can possibly be. There're 3 choices of animatronic types for my starter project which include: 2 legged animatronic (bipedal dinosaur), 4 legged animatronic (such as a Triceratops) or a resting/sleeping animatronic.

I'm assuming the resting dinosaur animatronic would be the easiest to start, so I may go with a Hadrosaur lying down and observing the surroundings or something like that. I could start with a miniature Hadrosaur maquette animatronic to figure out the required movements and potential problems in doing it full-scale. I'd like all my animatronics to feature long run cycles in their programing system so they don't appear to repeat their behavior every 5 minutes.

Please post any advice, suggestions and/or comments you may have and enjoy the thread.

Thank you!

DC :happy:

01-24-2010, 03:13 PM
Well, I've always wanted a few animatronic raptors in my backyard as a burglar deterrent.. :d

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with, but I can only assume this going to cost you bucketloads of money..
1-1 scale would either hydraulics or seriously beefy AC servo systems (like the ones on industrial robots), and neither of those come cheap. Then again, since you're planning on buying a few acres of land, given the prices of property in Belgium, I'm assuming there are cheaper means of getting the items you need :)

I've noticed on most theme parks that most animatronics use fibreglass shells instead of silicone / latex / whatnot skins. I've always assumed this has something to do with what you stated in your OP, temperature range and humidity /UV radiation, but I'm no expert by far, so it's just a shot in the dark.

One last thing I'd like to add at this point, motors make a lot of noise. If you use hydraulics, and get the pumps on a separate location (i.e. behind a hill a few feet behind the animatronic), they might be a bit more convincing as dino's instead of robots.

01-24-2010, 03:35 PM
Thanks for your post ScuD (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/member.php?u=1990)! Yeah, for the body parts that require no movement at all, I am tempted to use solid pieces possibly made from GRP or something like that. I'm wondering what would be the best materials to create a lightweight but strong under structure for the foam rubber skin, such as the skull? I've seen various plastics used, but only in pictures so I've no idea what type of resin/GRP it is exactly?

If I go with a resting Parasaur (see image below of this animal), I'd like to see breathing, a leg maybe stretching and the head alert and observing its environment. It would need eye, nostril and mouth movement as well as full neck mobility of course.


01-24-2010, 06:05 PM
I think most modelers start with small-scale proof before spending the money on something that doesn't work. Crucial for designing the skeletal linkages and calculating loads.

01-24-2010, 07:33 PM
I like the idea of testing in miniature. :) I haven't made up my mind on the scale of the test model though, but maybe 4ft would be okay? The skull (not including the crest) would be about 6 inchs.

01-25-2010, 09:44 AM
DinoCreator, wow that is a very ambitious project. I went looking around on your site for some of your animatronic creations. Is this something that you or your team built?

01-25-2010, 03:54 PM
Hi MikeG! No, that's something SWS did for the Jurassic Park movies. But, I plan on adding my own animatronic work to those pages soon once I make a start. It's actually the JP films that inspired me to do this project, and I have been learning sculpting and moldmaking for the past 16 years. :happy:

05-26-2010, 09:58 PM
After reading "Legged Robots that Balance", it struck me that a robot theropod would be a great project. But I was thinking of something like an Eoraptor, not a T-Rex.

05-28-2010, 10:05 AM
Last year in Illinois at the Brookfield Zoo they had an exhibit called "Dinosaurs Alive." It was awesome! All the dinosaurs they had were 1:1 Scale. The movement was really smooth, but at some points it was a bit robotic.

09-08-2010, 12:39 PM
you could also use some vision software like roborelm ! which has some awesome features that might work for your project:D