Special effects expert to speak at Automation for the Future

Written by: Lou Reade | Published:

Creator of ‘JT’ animatronic figure explains how it was designed and made

This year’s ‘Automation for the Future’ Design Day is big – and kicks off with details of how an enormous animatronic figure was created in just six weeks.

Jamie Campbell, a Bafta Award-winning special effects expert, will explain his role in the creation of ‘JT’ – an 8m-high animatronic figure that was created to coincide with last year’s American Football game at Wembley.

Weighing more than a tonne, the model’s moving limbs posed a problem for the designers. Artem had originally considered using hydraulics – but realised this would require lots of ancillary equipment. In the end, fifteen linear actuators provided the performance and dimensions required to move the figure’s head, arms, legs and feet in a realistic way – mimicking the speed and smoothness of human movement.

Lead time was also important, as the figure had to be ready for the game between Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants at Wembley on 28 October – meaning that design and construction had to be completed in six short weeks.

Campbell’s presentation kicks off a morning of technical presentations on topics including: the use of absolute encoders; integrating intelligence within drives; and future trends in the design of automation systems.

In the afternoon, sponsors Heidenhain, Festo and Control Techniques will lead a series of training workshops. Subjects include: practical exercises using absolute encoders; a session to ‘demystify’ the black art of motion control; and a workshop in which delegates use software to size automation components quickly and easily.

The event, organised by Eureka, takes place at the Kaetsu Centre in Cambridge on 16 July. To register your interest, click here.

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