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Thread: i am a super newbie to animatronics help!

  1. Question i am a super newbie to animatronics help!


    So, I have been asked to be one of the puppet designers for a theater show at my school. My focus is on constructing the armatures from steel and plastics, and simple mechanics that go with it.

    One of our puppets is a little adorable fat ram. I wanted to challenge myself with it... Problem. only I have no idea how to even go about researching what I want.

    I would like to use an infrared circuit board I have already made and used for motion sensor, so make it so that when an actor gets close to the ram, the puppet's tail wags. I understand the wiring and such, but how to I come about getting a mechanical wagging tail? I'm not sure if you have to program something or what.

    Also, I'd like to have it's ears twitch on a timed loop. I have the same problem, where I just don't know where to look to research making this.

    If anyone already knows how to do this, or has a few "For Dummies" book titles I should read, that would be wonderful!!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Re: i am a super newbie to animatronics help!

    For tail wagging and ear twitching, hobby servo's seem like they could be a good fit. You could use an Arduino to control them. I suggest the Arduino because there are lots of examples out there that you could pull from to do this.

    There are some example projects that won previous Trossen contests here: One specific one I am thinking of is this animatronic head:
    Last edited by cire; 06-12-2011 at 10:19 PM.

  3. Re: i am a super newbie to animatronics help!

    Ah perfect!
    Haha, i actually took an electronics sculpture class, and i have made an arduino board. We just didnt learn to program them unless we needed to specifically. I'll rummage thru my stuff to find it
    Thank you!

  4. #4
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    Dec 2009
    San Francisco
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    Re: i am a super newbie to animatronics help!

    You could also use some cheap toys for either remote control or motion activated animatronics (many many cheap toys have a simple 1.5-6v motor driven gizmo for spinning or moving back and forth). And these things are only $10-30. They can also be activated by any MC too, of course.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Calgary, Alberta Canada
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    Re: i am a super newbie to animatronics help!

    visit and take a look at my product. it will be perfect for your application and easy because you can let the control room control the effects. or you can script them, etc... or use joysticks. etc etc

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