Animatronic Sign - Dancing Logo

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Animatronic Sign - Dancing Logo

Post by lightman » Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:35 pm

Recently I was asked to animate a logo sign at our local high school. I thought I would share some of the mechanisms I came up with to successfully have characters move about.

The logo is a large graduation hat with 4 dancing figures on top. The logo base is built out of luan (thin plywood) and the characters out of coroplast (plastic corrogated cardboard). It has to be lightweight as the logo will be flown out (hung on movable bar) on a theater batten. Any motor/mechanism needs to be kept very light.

The first character of the four has to move up and down about 10" he is jumping. I have decided to use a small synchronous AC motor (5 RPM). Torque is minimal, so a unique lever mechanism was devised to maximize resultant force without stalling the motor.

The motor turns an arbor horn (rotating lever arm) that pushes up on a long lever arm that transfers rotary motion to up down motion.

Here is a video that demonstrates the proof of concept...

I also fabricated a side to side twisting motion character. Using another 5 RPM motor I used a smaller arbor horn and PVC pipe to implement the back and forth motion. Here is a demo video of this additional mechanism...

Other motion is a rocking action and I will post something on those in later posts.


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Steve Halstaff Koci
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Re: Animatronic Sign - Dancing Logo

Post by Steve Halstaff Koci » Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:14 pm

Nice explanation of the design Brian.
May the passion to build be with you!

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