Animatronics Reference

Anyone who is familiar with animatronics or even most robotics knows that almost every build is a hack if you don’t plan on reproducing it.  This gallery is to show off the work of [John Nolan]. However, instead of just posting the final product, he has posted several galleries that show, in detail, the internal structures. Curious how to rig a jaw or an eyebrow?  Wanna see the internals of an animatronic baby? How about building giant monster hands that are rugged and have full digit control? It’s all in the gallery.

21 thoughts on “Animatronics Reference

  1. Ole! Ole! It’s Showtime!

    In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room
    In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room
    All the birds sing words and the flowers croon
    In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room
    Welcome to our tropical hideaway, you lucky people you!
    If we weren’t in the show starting right away,
    We’d be in the audience too
    All together!

  2. I’m actually looking at a few animatronics studios for my post-grad job. It’s true, even for professionals making them for theme park attractions. 8 out of 10 of them are hacks, and the ones you need to replicate? That’s what vacuform and the cnc are for.

  3. > How about building giant monster hands
    > that are rugged and have full digit control?

    Waldos! Then you use the waldos to build smaller waldos. Then you use THOSE waldos to buld even SMALLER waldos! Or, go larger and larger. Then you can build buildings like playing with Lincoln Logs or Legos. Waldos with full feedback would speed up manual labor on large scale. Imagine unloading a cargo container ship with waldos… two guys dressed in feedback suits picking up and stacking blocks all day long. Heh. Micro-waldos for nerve surgery. Now I know my new school project…

  4. but those animatronic thingys look sooooo much better than all those robots they have out there and sure much more realistic..
    why cant they all team up and make some nice bots?
    like these move so much better that the others that supposedly dance where even the hackaday team at CES was too bore by to watch..

  5. Animatronics != robotics. Anmiatronics is about building machines to look like something, robotics is about building machines that actually _do_ something. They have very little to do with each other.

  6. @Andy
    That strange tickling sensation is the feeling of every robotics engineer on the planet attempting to slap you on the back of the head through the internet. Animatronics is a hugely complicated field of robotics, what with the huge number of servos operating in synchronisation and precision to create a fluid and believable total movement (read: there’s a shit-ton of highly tuned PID loops in there, amongst other things), usually controlled in a haptic manner. There’s far more to robotics than an industrial arm with beefy servos in.

  7. If you call Animatronics a “hugely complicated field of robotics”, I don’t think you know a lot about real robotics. Sure, you might need a few PID control loops, so? Do you have any idea what is necessary to build an industrial robotic arm that can do millimeter-exact movements with parts weighing tens of kilograms at speeds of meters per second? This is NOT about beefy servos. Performance of these arms has actually for a long time been limited by the available algorithms. And then of course there are robots that can perform surgery on a beating heart by following its motions in real-time…

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