When will Louie be available?
We don't have an exact timeline yet, but we're working to have a limited first run complete in the next few months.
Who can build Louie? Do I need to know how to code or build circuits?
Louie is meant to be as accessible as possible! We think that creative expression through robotics and animatronics is something everyone of all backgrounds can enjoy! Louie comes with everything you need to build him, and doesn't require any soldering or circuit building. Because of Louie's integration with Bottango, you can control and animate him without needing to write any code.
That being said, Louie is an advanced tool. You need to be comfortable putting intricate parts together, running and troubleshooting software, and learning new skills.
Who's making Louie?
Bottango Bolt is the hardware side of Bottango, a robotic software company. The principle designers of Louie are:
Evan McMahon - Bottango founder and software / experience developer.
Torrey Sprague - Hardware and animatronic developer.
Hellerich - Curriculum and learning developer.
Can Louie be used in a classroom setting?
YES! But we recommend at least a high school environment.
Louie also will come with complete curriculum and learning materials to facilitate his use in the classroom. If you're an educator, contact us at Education@Bottango.com to talk more about Louie and education.
Will replacement parts be available?
We're still working out the exact plan, but we want to make sure you have access to what you need to make Louie a long-term investment. We're of course working hard designing Louie to be as robust as possible, but moving parts wear down and need TLC over time.
Stay tuned while we make final plans for how to help you maintain and keep Louie running.
Can Louie play audio? What does Louie sound like when he's animating?
Louie himself doesn't have any speakers. That being said, Bottango, the software used to control Louie, is built with audio playback as a key feature. You can animate Louie to audio in Bottango, and play audio back in perfect sync with your animations via Bottango on whatever speakers you would like.
One other note: Louie isn't silent. You will hear motor movement while Louie is animating. We're working hard to reduce this noise as much as we can, but it's a reality of motors at this size and gear reduction that you will hear some amount of motor sound.
What exactly comes with Louie?
It's our goal to give you 100% of everything you need to build and control your own animatronic.
The final parts list is still very much a work in progress, but the major elements in the current design are:
1) Plastic and acrylic parts to form the majority of the structures and mechanisms of Louie.
2) Premium, platinum cure silicone skins to form the cosmetic exteriors of Louie, which move and stretch like real skin.
3) Six high-quality servo motors and all required accessories.
4) Power supply and motor and logic control boards, and a USB cable.
5) All required hardware, including bolts, nuts, push rods, ball joints, etc.
6) A custom-tailored Hawaiian shirt for him to wear!
What kinds of movements is Louie capable of?
Louie is currently designed with six axes of movement. In fact, the video of Louie in the top of this site is accurate to the movements we're planning for Louie to be able to do:
1) Eyebrow movement
2) Mouth movement
3 & 4) Head roll and pitch
5) Chest movement
6) Arm rotation (both arms move together)
Eyebrows, mouth and head roll + pitch are the furthest along in design / development, so the videos of Louie moving show those elements. We will update visualizations of Louie's movements with chest and arm rotation as those elements become finalized.
How big is Louie?
Louie is designed sitting down. From the table top to the tip of his head measures about 15 inches.
How exactly do I control Louie?
Louie is made by Bottango, the company that created a state of the art, intuitive animatronic animation studio. Louie is made to work seamlessly with Bottango.
In Bottango, you can animate animatronics the same way you animate 3D characters for movies and TV. You move a 3D representation of Louie into desired poses, creating keyframes, and syncronizing those movements with audio. If you have ever done any kind of 3D animating, the workflow will be very familiar. And if you haven't, it's easy to learn!
Louie will come with some example animations to learn from in a Bottango example project. However, the point of Louie is for you to build your own movements and animations. Louie is a platform for you to build animations on, not a robot with a prebuilt set of behaviors and interactions.
I have another question.
We're easy to get ahold of!
You can join the developers in our Discord community and talk about Louie, Bottango Bolt, and Bottango:
If you have general questions about Louie: Louie@Bottango.com
Press or Media? Cool! We're excited to talk to you: Press@Bottango.com
Something else: Contact@Bottango.com