Servo Drives in Animatronics


Servo Drives in Animatronics

Whether at a Walt Disney Location or Chuck E. Cheese’s, animatronics – those whimsical, moving, life-size robots of our favorite fictional characters – have delighted audiences all over the world for decades. But creating those lifelike motions requires an astonishing amount of engineering, and servo drives play a critical role. At ESI Motion, our mission is to design and deliver the world’s best servo drives, so we’d like to examine the role that servo drives play in animatronics.

Servo Drive Modules for Animatronics Applications

Animatronic robots may seem simple, but in reality, they require complex engineering. Creating believable, lifelike movements is no simple task, and it requires extreme precision and coordination. That’s why high-quality servo drives play a critical role in believable animatronics: servo drives allow for the consistency and precision necessary to create motions that mimic living things.

The difficulty of animatronics engineering speaks to the complexity of life itself. For example, think of how you move your arm: it doesn’t happen in crude on/off gestures, with your arm jerking from one position to the next. Instead, it’s a fluid, graceful motion, with muscles making thousands of adjustments per second to accelerate and decelerate your body until you reach the desired position. When recreating that using robotics, even the smallest variations in speed and positioning can break the illusion, and high-quality servo drives help keep it intact.

Animatronics also add unique constraints to the engineering process. Animatronic robots often need to look like humans, animals, or imaginary creatures, which means the robotics need to fit into confined, irregular spaces. High-quality servo drives can deliver high output power in a small container, allowing for realistic movements despite the small space. For example, our Single Axis Mite and new Atom servo drive modules deliver powerful outputs with a footprint as small as a matchbook and smaller custom sizes available.

Contact Your Servo Drive Experts

Animatronics require detailed engineering within unique constraints, and servo drives play a critical role in effective animatronic robots by allowing for precision, consistency, and performance in a tight space. Want to learn more about servo drives for animatronics or how servo drives can help in other engineering problems? At ESI Motion, we are world leaders in the servo drive industry. Contact us today to see how we can help you solve your toughest engineering challenges through world-class custom and off-the-shelf servo drives. We can’t wait to hear from you!