Will Cogley will host the Hack Chat on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at noon Pacific Time.
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Once the age of electronics came around, the springs that drove the early automatons and the cams that programmed their actions were replaced by motors and memory circuits. New materials made once clunky mechanisms finer and more precise, sensors and servos made movements more lifelike, and the age of animatronics was born.
Animatronics have since become a huge business, mostly in the entertainment industry. From robotic presidents to anachronistic dinosaurs to singing rodents designed to sell pizza, animatronics have been alternately entertaining and terrifying us for decades. The fact that they're not "real" robots doesn't make the melding of mechanical, electrical, and computer systems into a convincing representation of a real being any less challenging. Will Cogley has more than a few amazing animatronics designs under his belt, some of which we've featured on Hackaday. From hearts to hands to slightly terrifying mouths, Will puts a tons of work into his mechanisms, and he'll stop by the Hack Chat to tell us all about designing and building animatronics.