(Close Window)
Topic: Animatronic Puppets are Amazing - Official.
Message: Posted by: muzicman (May 11, 2009 03:34PM)
Ok, the use of animatronics in show business is nothing new. Audiences love to be entertained and using animatronics is just another tool we entertainers use. Axtell had what was an affordable entry into this market and I feel fortunate to have Buster, my Magic Programmable Toucan.

There are other animatronics childrens performers can use. I also have a Squawkers Mccaw. He works from either a remote control or voice activated. Mine does a card trick. A card is forced on the spec and when asked "What card did they pick"? He will respond with the correct choice. He dances and talks, but limited to 6 words or phrases 6 seconds or less. The cons of Squawkers is he is easily distracted by outside noises. He may not always hear you and if your trigger phrase is not ultra unique, he may give the incorrect reponse.
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSovyWbxqbQ&feature=related]Check out Squawkers[/url]

I also have a full size talking dear head. It's a 5 point buck and follows along the lines of singing Billy Bass you may have all seen. What makes "Bucky" different is he comes with a wireless mic, and you can speak into the mic and Bucky will move his mouth to what you say. He also has a LINE OUT so I can put his voice into the mix and not use the onboard 3 inch speaker. He moves his head, ears, and mouth. At Christmas time, I put a red nose and Santa hat on him. He's my emcee, and I have a spot that comes on him during his parts.
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCQTXaoOSSo&feature=related]Bucky the singing dear[/url]

Sony came out with a robotic MP3 player. It's in the shape of an egg and fully programmable for movement. It's called Sony Rolly. It's too small for stage use, but closeup shows may be able to use such a robot. I carry mine with me everywhere and enjoying entertaining impromtu audiences with it. [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTxdKi77G20]Sony Rolly[/url]

Green machine frog band. This great little band will move to music. Nothing to program. It's just a great animatronic band that audiences I share them with love [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCbtCxEtj94&feature=related]Frog Band[/url]

Axtell Hands Free Remote Controlled Puppets. The best thing since sliced bread. Fully programmable and used in a variety of conditions. Infinite amount of possibilities due to the programmability that Steve and his team put into it.

The above animatronics themselves do not make a show great. Like anything, they have their time and place in every show. But to my audiences, large or small, there is no doubt they are amazing and entertaining.

Does anyone else use any animatronics in their performances? Are their other animatronics in use out there by performers?
Message: Posted by: Futureal (May 12, 2009 12:36AM)
The problem isn't the prop. The problem is magicians thinking that spending thousands on these things and putting them into their show will automatically make their show good.

On it's own, an animatronic puppet is no better than a non-animatronic puppet. If anything it might be worse, because people won't appreciate the skill involved in manipulating a real puppet.
Message: Posted by: muzicman (May 12, 2009 01:18AM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-12 01:36, Futureal wrote:
The problem isn't the prop. The problem is magicians thinking that spending thousands on these things and putting them into their show will automatically make their show good.

On it's own, an animatronic puppet is no better than a non-animatronic puppet. If anything it might be worse, because people won't appreciate the skill involved in manipulating a real puppet.
[/quote]

Um. that was helpful as heck. Oh, I also have a Personal Sound Effect T-Shirt. You can load in 20 of your own MP3's and have them playback at a push of a button. Ala Sylvester the Jester. It takes no talent to buy one, but to program one and press the button. OMG, I've had more fun with this thing. I have a routine where my shirt and my Rolly get into an argument. (Hint, the T-shirt wins because it can shock the human). How's that for talent and creativity! Best $40 I ever sepnt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC-LKuEgHPs
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (May 12, 2009 12:14PM)
I bought the sound FX T-Shirt out of curiosity while cruising the ThinkGeek website. Some great toys there! Like you, I've had a lot of fun with this shirt under my shirt & vest on my strolling gigs (NOT recommended for hot, humid days). I do wish the remote was a bit more convenient, but what do we expect for forty bucks, eh? :)

I've also played with Squawkers but have yet to build him into my show. As you said, he's just a bit unreliable so I'm toying with his electronics trying to make him more consistent. Still, he's fun to play with.

I've seen Bucky but didn't know that you could customize his presentation. Might be a fun thing to add to my playhouse stage set. I'll have to take another look. Thanks!

Chris Capehart turned me onto Pleo, the baby dinosaur. This little baby animatronic dino plays and interacts with the crowd between my street gigs. He's a major draw and just fun to play with. Now, you wanna talk electronic toys? Chris is the toy king. There ain't an animatronic toy or robot on the market that he doesn't have, including the lifesize and fully functioning R2D2 that he built from scratch. Chris knows toys! :)

Futureal may be off-topic but he is right. You can have the hottest and coolest toy on the block, but if you lack the creativity to build it into your act in a convincing way, it's just a high priced toy. Sounds as though you don't have that problem, Muzicman. Party on!
Message: Posted by: muzicman (May 12, 2009 12:29PM)
Thanks for Sharing Skip. The Personal Sound FX T-Shirt also plays MP3's from an IPod. This thing has been fun and although not animatronic, it's still entertains.

I also have a Brian the Brain. Now the "normal" Brian the Brain is not worthy of a performance. Typically he's just a roommate that is voice activated. But because he "talks" when an MP3 player is connected to him, a prerecorded script can be made and interacted with, just like with the Rolly, Buck, Buster, and the T-shirt.

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUji9seUs98]Check Out Brian the Brain[/url]

They are around $100.
Message: Posted by: muzicman (May 15, 2009 12:02PM)
Another entertainment robot is the Aibo made by Sony. These things can see, hear, feel, and were driven by some pretty advanced Artificial Intelligence software. I own 2 different models and Houdini, my ERS-220, does some magic! He'll find a previously selected card! He also does an online magic trick.

http://cklivin.com/aibotrick.swf

They have been discontinued, just like Bucky, the Green Machine Frog Band, and soon Squawkers.

Houdini has been a great sidekick. He responds to my voice commands and can talk to me with words and sign language. I sometimes have to remind myself he's just a laptop that walks. He really has a funny personality.

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cELmijQla_g]Aibo and Pleo Playing[/url]