Engineering took a terrifying turn at Pack Expo in Chicago on Halloween, as the pneumatic equipment supplier Bimba Manufacturing Co. demonstrated the air-powered Scary Guy for some of the show's 46,000 attendees.
Meet the Scary Guy. (Source: Design News)
The Scary Guy is an animatronic figure built by the Scare Factory. Bimba supplied components for electronic controls, air cylinders, valves, fittings, and filters to enable the figure to move its upper body independently. Bimba engineers said the pneumatic bill of materials for the Scary Guy amounted to less than $300.
Haunted houses (HH) are big business. I calculated once, based on the supposed attendance of a local HH, that a typical attraction could rake in about $400,000 a season. Good HHs sell tickets for $20-30 these days too, so perhaps my number is a little low.
I tried to talk my engineering friends into building one, but they were scared to try. Pun intended.
Other than the fact that it uses air cylinders, valves, fittings, filters and electronic controls, I don't know much about the components, MrDon. But I'd be happy to put you in touch with Bimba engineers if you contact me at my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopefully, we can get more detail for your Control Systems class.
It certainly is quite a show, and low budget at that. It may be a great marketing tool and open up a new set of aplications, with function and durability being far more important than accuracy it should be workable for a much larger group of users.
But I don't think it is nearly the first use of air cylinders in animated figures, although probably one of the scarier applications.
Hi Charles, Nice video of Scary Guy in action. What type of Bimba Pneumatics and electronic controls were used to bring Scary Guy to life? I'll definitely share this video with my Controls Systems class for a good discussion on Animatronic Applications using Mechatronics!
Design News readers spoke loudly and clearly after our recent news story about a resurgence in manufacturing -- and manufacturing jobs. Commenters doubted the manufacturers, describing them as H-1B visa promoters, corporate crybabies, and clowns. They argued that US manufacturers aren’t willing to train workers, preferring instead to import cheap labor from abroad.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.