Project Overview

Miracle Workshop 2.0 is a collaborative project with Give Kids The World Village, a nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW has reached out to us because they had a hand mechanized puppet that had not been in use due to safety reasons.

Last semester we turned this existing puppet into a five-function audio animatronic figure that their volunteers and staff will be able to control safely from a remote location, rather than their current crawl space. The team focused on designing a robust animatronic and reimagining Tom Foolery’s story to develop an engaging experience for the guests that visit The Village.

Our goal this term is to finish Tom’s engineering while putting him through rigorous testing cycles before his installation. Additionally, we are iterating on his show content while cleaning and smoothing his animations to hopefully create a more enchanting experience while reducing unnecessary wear.

Our animation pipeline for Tom Foolery the animatronic involves creating all the animations in Maya and then using a 3D converter given to us by our partner vendor Weigl Control which would then convert the all the rotational data from Maya into data recognized by motors. We worked on figuring out how the pipeline works last semester but this semester our focus was to make the animations more smoother adding in performance to make the character of Tom Foolery look more alive. For making the animations smoother the animations went through 4 iterations which involved testing the animations after iterations on the animatronic. We also utilized the graph editor from Maya to make the animations smoother. Apart from using Maya software we also utilized the show controller software to make the animations more smoother by using some in-built features. This allowed us to enhance the performance of Tom Foolery the animatronic and tests during installation on the animatronic helped us further find and fix any problems that occurred in the animations.