Asee peer logo

A Cross Disciplinary Study Via Animatronics

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Interdisciplinary Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.31.1 - 10.31.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Cross-Disciplinary Study via Animatronics

Arif Sirinterlikci, John Mativo

Ohio Northern University


This paper presents the authors’ attempts and consequent challenges in developing a true cross- disciplinary study for undergraduate engineering, technology and art students. The development process was initiated to enhance the Mechatronics and Robotics Program at Ohio Northern University (ONU) Technological Studies Department resulting in development of an honors course. HONR 218 - Animatronics was developed and offered in Winter Quarter of 2003/04 academic year. Animatronics is the art of bringing inanimate objects to life through computer technology, cable control, remote control or hand puppetry1. Unlike biomimetics, animatronics is not purely based on various technologies and art is an important component because of the imitation factor leading to creativity and problem solving skills. In a well-blended cross- disciplinary setting, animatronics encompasses a wide span of areas limited by diverse subjects such as biomechanics, controls, costuming or manufacturing processes.

The immediate goals of the development attempts were:

• Attracting good and interested students into the inter-disciplinary fields of mechatronics or robotics • Capturing and maintaining students’ interest through design of life-like entertainment robots or toys in a fun and creative team environments • Utilizing emerging technologies such as muscle wires, air muscles, micro- and nano- controllers

Initially ONU technology and engineering student body was chosen as the main target audience since the focus areas were mechatronics and robotics. However, art majors and minors did show strong interest during promotional activities. They were subsequently recruited. Students who are not in the honors program were also allowed to register depending on the number of available seats within fifteen seat capacity limit of the Honors Program.

This paper elaborates on the HONR 218 – Animatronics course through its description, objectives, curriculum, and delivery structure including laboratory assignments. Examples of student work are also presented. This paper introduces the outreach activities driven by the same methodology on which HONR 218 is based. Conclusion talks about student response and some of the major challenges the authors faced in execution of the methodology.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©, American Society for Engineering Education”

Mativo, J., & Sirinterlikci, A. (2005, June), A Cross Disciplinary Study Via Animatronics Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14522

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015