Animatronic Character

Animatronic Character – 2018

I have made and remade several versions of this character over the years and I am currently working on a fully redesigned one that will be completely new. I have used three or four revised versions of this over the years each one adding or improving features and movements. As my control system has become more complex I have had an easier time adding movements and other elements to a scene. I will be using this page to document the newest build and last section will cover some information about the earlier designs.

80/20 Aluminum- This will be used for most of the frame, Arms and legs.
Heavy Duty Casters- I have ones that can be adjusted to stop them from rolling.
Pneumatic Cylinders- I will go over how many later one once I have the full movements planned.
Pneumatic Hose and fittings
Manifold Block- Large enough to cover the needed cylinders.

A Run down on Features:
Pneumatic Motion
3 Axis arms- Both
Upper Body twist
Head Tilt, Nod, Twist, eyes and mouth.
DMX Control
Mostly Self contained
Connection for RGB Flood lights

Head and Neck:





Custom Lighting:

Custom DMX board:

There were many different additional elements in the yard that are used in show with the Animatronic. For the most part everything was tired together with using DMX and VSA. This allowed a lot of coordinated audio, lighting and video effects that brought the scene together.

Past Revisions and Design:
For Halloween I built this character to run on a DMX network, with 2 moving arms, a moving neck and mouth. The lighting will be provided by custom led boards, most of the motion will be controlled by a Medusa DMX board and custom DMX boards. The software running is VSA running on my Computer, and the Sound is provided by the computer to a 250 watt amp and 15″ speaker.
This Documents my progress in past builds.

Version 1, was a simple steel frame with 2 arms that could move at just one joint at first, This also has a skull attached that could tilt on two axis. This used a Medusa DMX board to connect the movement to the show. The frame was made from old bed frames that I cut up and bolted together. The arms were simple Bolted to the frame with one pneumatic cylinder on each arm to allow them to rise. The head was controlled by a few servos to allow it to move around along with moving the mouth.

Version 2, Used the same steel frame from the first design with many upgrades. I added a three axis skull with four servos to allow for the head to move in all directions and the mouth to still move. The arms got another piston added to each to allow for lift. The four pistons in the arms were connected to a solenoid manifold to control there movement. This was all controlled by the same Medusa board as the first version.

Version 3, Used the same three axis skull and steel frame, Most of the upgrades were to the arms which I mounted to modified casters to allow a third axis or moment. The pistons were attached to the castor to allow a lift and twist motion. This was all still controlled by the same board. I also started work on hands, These did not get finished for the final design.

These photos will show most of these changes and including wiring and the arms. There will be a separate page to show a little more detail on how to make the arms that I used for this.

Assemble of the 1st Version of the Three Axis Skill:

Assemble of the 2nd Version of the three axis Skull:

Upgrades to the Pneumatic Arms:

Frame/Electronics/Power supply: