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Animax Designs
Skull Island:
Reign of Kong ride (2016)

DESIGN TASKS:

 

Three large animatronic BATS – I was recruited by Animax Designs in 2015, to expand their capabilities in Animatronic creature design and manufacturing. These bats had to be very scary, and lunge at the tram car as it passes.

Description: 5’ tall, hanging upside-down, fully mechanized head, glowing eyes, mouth open/close, neck u/d-r/l, wings & body bend u/d.

CLIENT: 

 

Universal Orlando

Universal Creative designs, develops, and delivers themed attractions, rides, resorts, and parks globally for Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of NBCUniversal, whose parent company is Comcast. (Wikipedia)

CHALLENGES: 

 

Animax was small puppet company at this point and I was the first and only member of their new Mechanical Design & Engineering Dept.

 

Tight schedule - The project was already 2 weeks behind when I was hired!

 

I had to guide and train their team on better ways and techniques to handle mechanical design work & part manufacturing.

 

I needed to learn the client’s safety specifications or ‘General Performance Specs’. This was a very different process from all my previous projects and took some time to absorb and make sure my design work complied with all the requirements.

EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS: 

All-electric - low voltage 24v system throughout.

Wings - Powerful rotary actuators, harmonic gearing, carbon composite tubes, aluminum joints.

Body lift – Compact and powerful electric linear actuators rated for long life.

 

Head and neck – Direct linkage driven by powerful rotary actuators w/harmonic gearing.

​RESULTS: 

 

The Universal Creative team was extremely pleased with how the Bats turned out and delivered on time. The animatronic Bats look fantastic and are a very fun and scary part of the Reign of Kong attraction, enjoyed by park guests again and again. I am proud of what I was able to accomplish and that my experience, skill set, and reliable designs, were critical in helping the company grow rapidly into the major entertainment company it is now.

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