Steve Koci

Steve's Articles

Make Robotics Learning Fun!
November 2017
Between smartphones and the need for instant gratification, how do we make the mundane machinery of robotics something new and exciting for kids?

Distortions Unlimited: Where Monsters Positively Exist
October 2017
Come explore a place where dreams (or nightmares) are built! Distortions Unlimited is a prop-shop that is an animatronics builder’s paradise!

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Can You Hear Me Now?
September 2017
Planning the audio systems that surround your aminatronic displays helps create an immersive experience for your viewers.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Legacy Effects
August 2017
A rare behind-the-scenes tour of Academy Award nominated special effects company, Legacy Effects

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Shine a Light on Your Creations
July 2017
What good is a fabulous prop if you can’t see it? Serious attention should be devoted to properly lighting your displays.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Putting On a Face
June 2017
What good is a fully functioning mechanical character without a face?

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Setting Up Shop
May 2017
Having a special work area for your animatronics hobby is extremely important in your efforts to maximize your productivity.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Motors Make the World Go Round
April 2017
Take an in-depth look at using some alternative motors in animatronics/robotic builds.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — The Animatronic Body, Inside and Out
March 2017
The process of building an animatronic character starts and ends with a strong body.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Servos: The Basics and Beyond
February 2017
Becoming comfortable using servos and taking advantage of all the added features available will expand your capabilities as a builder.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Power to the Robots
January 2017
Although getting power to your props is not one of the most exciting parts of the building process, it is one of the more crucial aspects.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Puppeteering Animatronic Characters
December 2016
With the advancement and accessibility of technology to the garage builder, we continue to narrow the gap that separates us from the professional prop shops in being able to create a character that truly simulates a living, breathing creature.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Prop Builder’s Gift Wish List
November 2016
Once again, it’s that time of year when the air turns cool and our thoughts turn to the holidays and what the heck we’re gonna buy for our DIYers.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Conjuring Up a Revitalized Witch Scene
October 2016
Learn the magic formulas for redesigning a previous animatronics display that will be sure to delight even the most discriminating of trick-or-treaters.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Jarvis — The Steampunk Robot
September 2016
My interest and fascination with the Steampunk culture has inspired me to create a new traveling companion.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — The Ins and Outs of Making Things Move
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July 2016
Explore how linear actuators and linear servos can help you become a more successful animatronics builder.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — A Prop Builder’s Toy Store!
June 2016
Here is a snapshot of what was available at this year’s Transworld’s Halloween & Attractions Show. I hope it motivates you to attend next time if the opportunity becomes available.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Wiper Motors: Prop Builder’s Workhorses
May 2016
Wiper motors can provide the solution to many problems prop and/or robot builders face.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — Tips of the Trade
March 2016
Helpful tips of the trade for getting started in hobbyist animatronics.

Let Me Give You a Hand
February 2016
Just as opposable thumbs set us apart from other animals, having the fingers on the hands of your character move in a lifelike manner will set your props apart from the rest of the pack.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer
January 2016
The Growth of an Idea into Reality.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer
December 2015
TRIGGERS and SENSORS - There is a wide variety of options to choose from when selecting the best trigger mechanisms, but no single solution is best for every situation. Well have no fear, the answers are here!

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer
November 2015
A Breath of Fresh Air! The use of pneumatics provides prop builders with a unique set of qualities that are often harder to achieve with other methods of movements.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer
October 2015
Big Red — A Bartender Only a Pirate Could Love! Just in time for Halloween, this build is one of the more complex projects attempted. Plus, it is the perfect example of being flexible when you need to abandon an original design and restart from scratch.

Parkerbot — Animatronic Spider
September 2015
Run Away! It’s ParkerBot! Spiderman’s got nothin’ on this robotic arachnid that will add a whole new dimension to this year’s Halloween displays.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer — It’s All In Your Head!
August 2015
Make your robotic characters more life-like by giving them a voice and some head movement with these simple-to-learn techniques.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer
July 2015
In this second installment, we’ll get back to the basics of animatronics discussing things like vocabulary, tools and materials, resources, and the physical construction process.

Animatronics for the Do-It-Yourselfer
June 2015
This new series of articles will explore the many methods, materials, and innovative new ideas to bring your robotic creations to life.

Papa VooDoo — the Wicked Witch Doctor
October 2014
DIY animatronics are really changing the landscape of holiday displays.