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Engineering the Magic

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When the Enchanted Tiki Room opened at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., in 1963, it was, by all accounts, thrilling. Inside were dozens of talking flowers, totem poles, and birds - colorful macaws, toucans, and cockatoos - and together they performed a musical show by dancing and singing along to tunes like the "Hawaiian War Chant". Huge crowds visited the attraction, excited to get a look at these early Audio-Animatronics -"audio" meaning that sound triggered a series of mechanisms, like cams and levers, that caused a pneumatic valve to open and close, moving an eye, a beak, or part of the body in time with the music. In the end, Audio-Animatronics is about teamwork. Bringing characters like Lucky and WALLldrE to life, blending robotics with entertainment and aesthetics, is the result of a collaborative effort.

Published in:

IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 1 )