Animax Designs is aiming to transform the animatronics industry with the launch of its Innovation Lab.
The intention is to create a hothouse of new ideas and a springboard for the development of new technology.
The launch of Innovation Lab follows a recent strategic rebrand of the company from a live performance and puppetry studio to one that focuses on highly engineered animatronic characters. The decision is a response to rapid growth both at Animax and in the wider experience landscape.
“With the explosive growth of the industry, now is the perfect time for Animax to launch a think tank like the Innovation Lab to help shape the future,” explains Animax CEO, Chuck Fawcett.
Thinking outside the theme park box
Heading up the team is Rob Gosnell, a military veteran with over 15 years of electrical and software engineering experience. He will be encouraging the team to seek solutions from outside the theme park box:
“We’ll explore cutting edge technology that may not be intended for the theme park industry, grab it, and manipulate it for entertainment,” comments Gosnell.
“For example, we’ll go to an industrial automation trade show to find that shiny new mechanical arm that can be skinned for themed entertainment or take something from the aerospace world that can be used in an entirely new way. By opening our minds to multiple technology solutions, the possibilities of what we can create are endless.”
The Lab will report directly to Fawcett, the only department at Animax to do so. This will keep project teams out of the approval process, allowing them to stay focused on client projects.
What’s more, new solutions will already be realised and lab-tested before they are presented to a client.
“Speaking plainly,” adds Fawcett. “I want our competitors to say, ‘damn, I wished we’d thought of that,’ and our clients to say, ‘damn, I want that in my attraction.’”