This week we worked on making sure our pipeline is set up for the rest of the duration of the project.  Alex continued to work with our honorary advisor Tim Eck on vetting our design.  Atul and Dustin worked with iTec, a show control vendor, to figure out how to integrate the show control system we are designing with an existing rack designed by iTec.

In order to give Tom as life-like animation as possible, given our limited functions, we are being vary strategic in looking at natural range of motions and movements.  

Niharika worked on a digital model of Tom, rigged to provide animation of the mouth, head rotation, head tilt, torso rotation, and trunk flexion.

In Niharika’s own words

The purpose of this model is to be able to figure out the placement of servos and help in the design being created by Alex. The model created by using [Autodesk Recap] had 3.89 million polygons which made it difficult to look inside the model and be able to place any servos inside it using the wire-frame mode in solidworks. Also, apart from the high number of polygons which were mostly triangles the model had the ear and the torso attached to the armchair. To clean up the model Niharika had to move the model in Zbrush and then reduce the number of polygons by using ZRemesher to get a low poly model with quads as polygons instead of triangles.”

Original Model :

Low poly model :


Dustin, Raisa and Alex also filmed, timed, and calculated range of motion of those corresponding joints on human subjects to study natural occurrences to find Torque of those movements.  These numbers will then help choose appropriate hardware help drive our design and movement programming.  It is exciting to use our cross discipline specialties in order to define the best path forward and make solid, educated design choices.


We continue to work with our client to vet show design as well as our budget.  Next week we need to get an approval so we can start ordering parts and move ahead with our project.  We are hoping that donors and vendors will continue to step forward and help us make this project a reality for Give Kids The World Village.  

Categories: Weekly Blog