Animatronics – originally developed by Walt Disney in the early 1960s – describes the use mechatronics to create devices which appear animate rather than robotic. Such creations typically include animals, plants and even mythical creatures.
Years ago, animatronics was understandably limited to Hollywood studios with seemingly endless wads of cash, but today Makers can design their own animatronic creations using inexpensive electronic components and a pinch of elbow grease.
Case in point? A Maker named Lance Gundersen who brought a pair of animatronic eyes to life with an Arduino Uno (ATmega328), two servos, some plexiglass and a couple of doll eyes.
More information about Lance’s animatronic eye project can be found here on Instructables.