Welcome to my animatronics page. Right now it is primarily about an animatronic creature that I built in 1997 that I call Arvid. I did this for a special effects class for the Academy of Art in San Francisco. This class showed us how to build stop motion creatures for film, but my teacher was quite flexible and let me tackle this instead. It ended up being a much bigger project than I had anticipated!
Previously on this page I had said that I planned to use a Basic Stamp II from Parallax Inc. but I soon realized that the Basic stamp didn't really have the 'get up and go' to really drive the animatronic the way that I wanted. I am not against using the Basic Stamp series of processors. They are great little processors, but they are anything but fast (as microprocessors go). I looked into Microchip's PIC line of processors but decided that they were not up to the task either. I wrote a program that I ran on the PIC16F873 that could do decent control of servos but it was limited to about a minute of animation. In the end, I wrote a piece of software for the PC that allows easy animation that can sync with sounds.
I am now building animatronics and robotics professionally through a company that I started in 2002. If you have an animatronic or robotic project that you would like made for you then please visit my company's website at www.BuffingtonFX.com. Even if you don't have a project in mind, you might find my gallery of recent projects to be interesting. Below, you can find links that will lead you to pages that describe in some detail the different parts of Arvid and how they have been constructed.