Grand Vision for an Animatronic Dragon's Head





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Published on Dec 2, 2013

Two students in Cogswell's Software Engineering program developed a preliminary model for an animatronic Dragon's Head. They are also working with one of our digital art students to create a skin for the frame.


My name is Edward Hartwig and this is Zachary Childers. At the end our spring semester of 2012, we came up with this crazy idea to build an animatronic dragon head. Ed and I have always been interested in robotics, that's actually how we met, in the Robotics class here at Cogswell.

We got in there, we started welding things, we started putting things together. How this thing actually works is... we have a little servo in here, which is just moving back and forth and its controlled by this Arduino. Which we programmed to run this script, which basically tells it to move its full range of motion back and forth.

Then we can turn that over to our animators here Cogswell so they can really bring it to life. We ended up recruiting three different artists who handed us some concept work. It must have been like sixty or seventy drawings to go through. It took a lot of narrowing down to find what we wanted. We really need to be able to design this to make sure that they can animate and skin it in the end.

It was kinda cool to use the the people around us to get our idea out of our head, and on to paper so we could see it. What in our mind was really our vision, what we had always seen that this is gonna look like. And in my mind, actually being able to see what was in my mind was really cool.

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