Animation System Debut

A picture of Tree Frog Night on the parade route with the accompanying Founder Trophy banner being carried in front

On the morning of January 1, 2019, the La Cañada Flintridge Rose Parade float’s new animation system successfully made its debut, animating the float Tree Frog Night.

It might have taken a few too many all-nighters, but by the end of “deco week” the animation system was up and running the float’s animatronics.

For the most part, the system functioned as expected, however, lack of time earlier in the year for testing meant that some of the its idiosyncrasies had to be dealt with in quite a rush.

Here’s a fantastic video about the new animation system and some information about its components:

Screenshot of news reel showing me inside the float

During deco week, we were visited by Ariel Wesler of Spectrum News who took interest in the float’s animation and produced this great video about our new animation system. Click on the image above or here to watch the clip on Spectrum News.

The installed main controller in the animator's compartment

Here’s the installed animation computer in the animator’s compartment. Since this was the animation system’s first trip down the parade route, I rode as the animation operator (one of the 3 operator positions on our float) in case anything went wrong. For more information about the animation computer, see its page here.

One of the installed valve bank control modules mounted inside the float

This is one of the completed valve bank control modules mounted inside the tree. The two of these boxes installed on the float performed all of the closed loop control necessary for running the hydraulics used to actuate all of our animatronics. For more information about the valve bank module, see its page here.

The main controller opened to show a small dedication plaque mounted on the lid

A small plaque was added to the main controller soon after the system’s first trip down the parade route, proudly celebrating its adoption as one of the float’s critical components.

Written on March 16, 2019