Animatronics is a multidisciplinary technology used to create robotic systems than seem animate, such as robotic animals or plants. It is used largely in the entertainment industry for making movies and theme park attractions. Preparing for a career in animatronics includes training in mechanical, electronic and computer engineering, as well as in the entertainment field. Undergraduate and graduate programs in electrical, entertainment and robotics engineering may offer students the right training for a career in animatronics.
Courses related to animatronics technology may cover some of the following information:
- Mechanical and electrical machine control topics
- Technical document and blueprint reading
- Interdisciplinary communication skills
- Animatronics design and fabrication
- Electronic and computer network systems
List of Courses
Electrical Fundamentals Course
This course is an introduction to the principles and basic concepts of electricity. Students cover electrical circuits, electronic devices and power train transmission. Students also examine the concept of transduction. Other topics covered include motors, power flow and magnetism. As part of their classwork, students may practice measuring power, voltage and current. This course is usually offered at the introductory level of a program in electrical or robotics engineering.
Introduction to Robotics Course
This entry-level course is usually offered in a mechanical or robotics engineering program and may be found in any of the first three semesters. This course covers the theories of robotics, including kinematics and dynamics. Students study sensor performance, computer stimulation techniques, software control architecture and system integration. In this course, students may create robots and program them to perform tasks.
Automated systems design and implementation is covered in this course. Students study wiring, mechanics, hydraulics and control systems. Other topics covered may include control circuits, smart relays and feedback systems. Stability, performance and design are also covered. Special emphasis is also placed on troubleshooting and the associated repair skills of welding and machining. This course is usually found in the middle of programs in electrical and robotics engineering.
Programmable Systems Course
Programmable logic systems are the focus of this course that is usually included in entertainment and robotic engineering programs. Students study programmable logic controllers, learn troubleshooting terminology and how to use programmable logic systems. This course also covers programming basics such as data structures, recursion, conditionals and functions.