Ardie is an animatronic Aardvark that was built to feature in the 'making of' movie for a National Geographic wildlife documentary on aardvarks. This was done as part of my Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. He has been programmed to walk, his head moves from side to side as well as up and down, his eyelids can open and close, and so can his mouth. The movements are all produced by hobby servos. He is controlled by a Handy Board and a mini SSC. The handy Board controls the five head and facial movement servos, and sends commands to the SSC, which is responsible for moving the eight leg servos. Commands are sent to the Handy Board either from a TV infra-red remote control, or from a custom built control box, via a tether. 

A detailed description of the construction and programming of the animatron will be added soon. In the meantime, here are few pictures of the construction, and of Ardie on location in the bush.


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