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The Foxee Animatronic Robot Project Blog

Archives for: November 2005

I Will Be Speaking On Three Midwest Furfest Panels!

Posted by: The Mad Scientist

I will be a panelist speaking on three fursuit construction panels at the Midwest Furfest Furry Convention! The convention takes at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield Hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois, from November 18-20. If you are attending the convention, you can see me speak on the following panels at the following rooms and times:

Fursuit Construction MEGA-Panel 1
Saturday, November 19th, Arlington Heights Room, 10:00AM - 12:00PM

Fursuits, those wild and zany animated fuzzy critters no furry can resist! So how do they come to life, and what does it REALLY take to make one? Here you can learn, from some of the best builders in the fandom, about designing, constructing, and caring for fursuits. Whether it's your first suit or your tenth, you're sure to learn some valuable tips and techniques! This first session of two MEGA-panels will cover basic fursuit construction and design.

Basic Fursuit Head Construction
Sunday, November 20th, Schaumburg Room, 9:00AM - 10:00AM

Ok, so you've almost built that fantastic fursuit, but something just doesn't seem right! Join Ocicat as he discusses basic fursuit head construction and materials that will help you top off that perfect suit, and bring your critter to life!

Fursuit Construction MEGA-Panel 2
Sunday, November 20th, Schaumburg Room, 10:00AM - 12:00PM

As if we haven't had enough fun, already! Stop on by for more furry construction mayhem as fursuit builders discuss advanced fursuit building techniques, materials, special effects, and basic care and maintenance.

(Midwest Furfest panel descriptions were taken from the Midwest Furfest website.)

To explain how I became a panelist on these panels, some time ago I mentioned my Foxee Animatronics Project and my experience with servo motors and electronics to the Programming Director for the Midwest Furfest furry convention. I knew that the convention often had an animatronics for fursuits panel each year, and I offered to help speak on the panel if I was needed. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the furry fandom, a "fursuit" is a sports mascot-style animal costume with a full body suit and an animal head that you put on over your own. Just like how Star Trek fans dress up like Klingons and Fantasy Fans will dress up like a mage, furry fans like to dress up as "furries," which are upright walking animals with human personalities like Bugs Bunny or the characters from the Walt Disney animated feature film "Robin Hood." Dressing up into character is just a fun way to "role play" as something that you always wished you could be.

Getting back to the story, while I was told by the Midwest Furfest Programming Director that I wasn't needed to speak on the animatronics panel, the programming director did ask me to speak on three other fursuit construction panels at the convention to answer any electronics questions that the audience may have. These panels include the two fursuit construction mega panels, and the Basic Fursuit Head Construction panel. At first I was a little intimidated by the fact that I was going to be on a fursuit head construction panel considering that I have yet to construct any fursuit heads myself. I expressed my concerns to the Programming Director, but she reassured me and told me that I was placed on the panel to field any electronics or animatronics questions that the audience would come up with and to back up the other panelists if I had something to add to what they were talking about.

With that concern out of the way, now all I have to figure out is how I am going to get up at 9:00AM on Sunday morning-- Considering the fact that this Mad Scientist is nocturnal and plans to be dancing the night away with all of the cute ladyfurs during the Saturday night dance, it is going to take at least three-quarters of the caffeine in the northern hemisphere injected straight into my heart to get me up by then! A Mad Scientist's work is never done! Despite the fact that I will probably be resembling one of my undead zombie experiments when I am at these panels that early in the morning, it should still be a lot of fun! And while I don't know the possibility of this yet, I might just be able to bring in an oscilloscope and hook up some servo motor controller boards to it to give a demonstration about how servo motors work. We'll just have to wait and see!

Visitors have been rocked by Foxee the Animatronic Blue Fox!!!

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