Developing an animatronics platform

This Predator costume has an animatronic element in the shoulder cannon. It tracks the movement of the mask, aiming wherever the Predator gazes. [Jerome Kelty] was asked by a friend to help develop the costume and he ended up with an animatronics platform which can be adapted for many different uses.

Starting with an Arduino Pro Mini [Jerome] designed a host board which would breakout the pins of the Arduino and make it easy to connect and drive multiple servo motors. The board is powered by a 3.3v Lithium Polymer battery with charging handled by a MAX1555 that was included in the design. Check out the video after the break which shows off the Predator suit. Looks like [Jerome] got it right, and he’s also put the platform to use with an Ironman suit that has an arm-mounted missle feature.

Need some inspiration for you next costume build? Take a look at this animatronic collection to get you started.


  1. Eirinn says:

    Really neat! Although if it had been me i’d have put in three lasers so it looks like the speargun reticule – granted it wouldn’t look as snazzy.

  2. Jordan says:

    Now to do away with the wires… Then, I would totally pay them to make me one.

  3. Honus says:

    Most of the wires you see are long servo cables. There’s only a few wires that go to the Bio helmet and they are hidden inside the three cables that connect the Bio to the backpack- just like in the first film. The three cables unplug from the Bio so you can take it off.

    All of the electronics go in the backpack.

  4. M4CGYV3R says:

    I don’t know if this should be categorized as animatronics so much as it should a wearable head-tracking turret system.

    Regardless, it makes me want to build one that force-feeds glow-in-the-dark paintballs from below, and uses less Arduino.

  5. Combust says:

    Great work Jerome! Arduinos are so versatile! Great for costumes and things as found on

    Of course its animatronics! Just not in regards to a puppet, its for the turret. And wires are unfortunately always a problem due to the number of motors and servos etc. You just have to be creative in hiding and running the wire bundles.

    Speaking of lots of wires, here is something ive worked on recently:

  6. tech-no-pest says:

    yes less arduino and more cowbell…the three laser pointers would diffidently give it a more movie realistic look

  7. What you could do is add high power led’s to the firing end and have it track finger movements or put a button wired to it down to your hand will work as well. above all good job and i cant wait to see it detailed and painted.

  8. Honus says:

    It does have the three beam laser sight- it turns on as soon as the system is armed.

  9. great!!

    Check also my arduino based face follower and laser shooter, that shoots incoming human enemies!

    BE careful with lasers. Do not point in the eyes.

    Marco (@mgua)

  10. Honus says:


    That is very cool! I recommend that people use LEDs instead of lasers, especially if the costume is to be worn in public.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 98,062 other followers