“TJ” a Remote-Controled Anamatronic Puppet
I am re-writing my Christmas list and including this little guy
Mechanical engineer Jeff Kessler originally designed TJ* as a one-off creation, for use in a film. Now, he’s raising funds on Kickstarter to turn the device into a commercial product. He has already far exceeded his funding goal, so it should likely be making its way to the marketplace.
The base model is made mainly from laser-cut fiberboard, although buyers can upgrade to opaque or transparent colored acrylic plastic. For people who don’t like TJ’s skull-like appearance, Kessler is also working on a variety of paper “skins,” that can be wrapped around the puppet to give it a more personable, three-dimensional appearance. For users who want it to look scarier, however, a set of glowing LED eyes is also on its way.
The next version of the product, known as Emotive TJ*, will feature two more servos. These will allow it to smile and frown, and raise and lower its brow.
Once enough TJ*s are in customers’ hands, Kessler plans on starting up a YouTube channel where people can post videos of their robot heads mouthing lines from movies, doing their best Christopher Walken impersonations, or otherwise being goofy.
A pledge of US$120 will get you a complete TJ*, once they’re ready to go. More information is available in the pitch video below.