EACH SYSTEM IS UPGRADABLE TO THE NEXT!
EZ LIVE System - Live and Playback
Entry Level Animatronic playback of Axtell MagicTrax, not programmable, Live Transmitter remote control in real time, Upgradeable to Magic2 System.
Our EZ System is a low cost way to into the world of animatronics! Amazingly low prices starting with teh Toucan EZ System! This system allows you to do two breath-taking things:
1. LIVE CONTROL! You can use the Remote Control Transmitter to control the puppet's every move. Imagine hiding behind a curtain or behind a crowd of people and interacting with them! He watches someone walk by and calls out to them! This is an amazing attention getter for theme parks, events and trade shows!
2. ANIMATRONIC PLAYBACK! You can also play our MagicTrax pre-programmed routines to control the character! Use our library of MagicTrax or we can create more custom routines for you in our studio! You connect and play our MagicTrax routines on mp3 from an iPod and the transmitter will send the control data wirelessly to your character. We can show you what kind of remote control fobs are avaiable to purchase to control an iPod.
The EZ System is great for those who want an easy system and do not want to do any programming or Motor-Mouth where a microphone controls the character's mouth. Auto-Alive is not hardware based in this EZ system since it does not include our Magic2 Console, but we provide you with several special "Alive MagicTrax" which have Auto-Alive motion on them! This is a great low cost system which is fully upgradable at any time to our Magic2 System.
Note - servos make sound when they move but your audience will not notice that when your audio is playing and they are laughing! Performers who are experienced our Hands-Free Animatronics know this 100%!
Magician Frank Glab entertaining with the Axtell Hands-Free Toucan Live with the EZ LIVE System at the IBM/SAM convention. It was the HIT of the show
... as they always are!
MAGIC2 Animation System
Advanced Circuitry, Programmable, Live Control, Vent Mode, MotorMouth, Netbook computer plays MagicTrax & Track Manager Software, Upgradeable to MediaStar for multiple Characters
With this advanced "Axtell Hands-Free Animation System" it expands your show with full programming and show control at an amazingly low price! You'll get:
1. LIVE CONTROL - The Transmitter allows you to control the character live, and during programming.
2. PROGRAMMABLE- You can program your own routines on the Netbook computer. The Magic2 Console is the powerful hi tech solution. You can record your own voices in any language; Japanese, Spanish, Norweigen, German, French, Italian, etc. and then record / program the movement of the character and synch them together into a MagicTrax mp3! The Magic2 Animation Console is your programming engine.
3. ANIMATRONIC PLAYBACK COMPUTER & MORE - Click the Fob to being your show background music and MagicTrax programming both! The netbook gives you a BIG view of your show on the presentation software display so you can see what track is playing and what is next. You can also play your MagicTrax from an iPod or Mp3 player if you don't want to use the Netbook on location. The Magic2 Animation Console also provides wireless transmission of the MagicTrax Data to the character and provides all stereo splitting and routing of the signals internally.
4. MOTORMOUTH - MotorMouth lets you speak into a microphone connected to the box and control the mouth of the puppet during Auto-Alive motion for the rest of the character's body. This frees up your hands to concentrate on body movments only with the Transmitter Radio. You can also easily move the mouth manually with the joystick if Motor-mouth is not needed.
5. AUTO-ALIVE You also get hardware based Auto-Alive that keeps your character alive when a track ends. You can control the left or right dominance on the Auto-Alive or have it centered toward your audience. Your character will never stop still with Auto-Alive.
6. DATA TRACK BLEND - This blends your characters's movements smoothly from any tracks starting or pausing. Data Track Blending also provides for smooth transitions across any gaps or jump cuts in your data program edits.
7. VENT MODE INCLUDED - Your FOB will also control VENT MODE by remote control. This means that you can set the menu from Magic to Vent mode, and control the head and mouth with a tiny FOB while Auto-Alive controls everything else! Even if you are not a ventriloquist you will find many uses for this secret method of controlling your character!
World's Oldest Pianist operating with the Magic2 System
Remote Control VENT Puppet System
Operate our Hands-Free VENT puppet from a distance with the tiny remote FOB hidden in your hand. For ventriloquists.
(Remote Control Head and Mouth Only with Auto-Alive,
MotorMouth Included, Not programmable. Upgradeable to Magic2)
The ventriloquist style characters are remote controlled, and operated by a tiny FOB control (like you would beep your car doors with). It's very easy to hide in your hand (I'm being obvious in the video). On stage with you, the puppet always looks alive with the automatically active "Auto-Alive", watching you & your audience and your show. When you want to control him, just push one button to "look over at you" - another "at your audience" and the next to "move it's mouth" and talk! You have total control just like a vent figure or puppet, but by remote control! When you are finished interacting you can go on with other parts of your show and the Hands-Free Vent Puppet stays in Auto-Alive (this state is not random, it is pre-set (you have 4 to choose from) so if you want the character to stay looking at you 80% of the time and 20% around the room / or more centered looking around / or more relaxed, or more active...it's all possible) You can also work with another puppet in your hands, and still control this remote puppet (3 way conversations!) with the tiny control hidden in your other hand! You can also upgrade to the Magic2 System by simply buying the LIVE Transmitter and the Netbook Computer for programming and playback of our fully programmed animatronic MagicTrax...or program your own!...... Excited?
Ventriloquist Darren Carr using the Toucan in Vent Mode with the tiny FOB
The Vent System is also included in the Magic2 System!
"Unbelievable. As a trade show traffic builder, it's worth its weight in Gold."
"This is so exciting!... You are taking puppetry light years ahead! When you consider modern kids and their expectations, these animatronics are going to really WOW the World of kids' entertainment. The World is soon going to be a much funnier place to be Brilliant!...Steve, this is truly incredible! "Doug Roberts, UK"
I have three words: WOW! - WOW! - WOW! ...
I am stunned or should I say breathless... at the beauty of this remote controlled Toucan. You are a genius and I sure hope you do well. It is definitely on my wish list!"
Dennis Michael, USA
"What can i say?!!! This is unbelievable!. This is what I've dreamed for (for years)!"
Henk van den Bos , Netherlands
Toucan and Tree on the Multi-Character System.This Custom Pre-programmed routine was made by us for a magic convention in Las Vegas. Any routine you create is possible. You can record the voices and program it, or we can do it all for you!
Three Animatronics Working Together in our Advanced Magic2 System!
Email Steve for More Information
Ron Palmer & Steve Axtell
Ron was one of my original co-designers of the Hands-Free Puppet Mechanics and Control System Concept. He was an amazing man who died April 2009. Ron had 40 years in the robotics industry. He made the famous car "Kitt" from "Knight Rider" and the robots in "Buck Rogers in the 21st Century". His work will live on in our animatronic characters.
Character Skins and Finishing
Each System is fully upgradeable to the next system. Click on the links to see more information.
EZ LIVE Animatronic System.
This system controls the character with a LIVE Remote Control Transmitter Radio. This system is not programmable, nor does it have hardware based Auto-Alive, MotorMouth or Vent Mode. It is an amazingly powerful entry level system that is upgradeable to the Advanced Magic2 System. You can playback our limited pre-programmed MagicTrax by playing them into the Transmitter but for real playback of your own routines you'll want to upgrade to MAGIC 2.
VENT Remote Control System.
This system will allow a ventriloquist to operate the puppet hands-free with a small remote FOB. You control the mouth and head turning while the body is moving with Auto-Alive. This system is not programmable and will not playback MagicTrax, but is fully upgradeable to the Magic2 System.
MAGIC 2 Advance Animatronics System.
This system contains all the full featured software and equipment to program and playback your own tracks, as well as perform LIVE with the Transmitter, or use a FOB (small handheld remote control) to control the character in VENT mode, or to use MotorMouth (speaking into a microphone to control the mouth of the puppet), has hardware based Auto-Alive (keeps the character moving as if alive between tracks and during VENT or MotorMouth modes, and is upgradeable to MediaStar for multi-character control during the same routine! ALSO upgrading to the MULTI-CHARACTER system with the addition of AXTELL VERSION MEDIASTAR allows for the syncing of up to 4 characters in a show! Put all of their voices on the same stereo sound track (no need to split the stereo) and then program each character separately. When you play back the show, your characters will interact and be in sync!
HANDS-FREE MAGIC DRAWING BOARD.
This is different technology but still is in our Hands-Free family of products. You can now program a Remote Control Drawing Board with the Hands-Free version! This will allow playing our MagicTrax made for the board with full programming and motion control....as well as controlling the board LIVE with the eraser!. This replaces the earlier Remote Control Board.
This is also different technology from our Hands-Free PUPPET Systems (EZ LIVE, VENT & MAGIC 2) but still is in our family of animatronic products like the board. This is a universal base unit that you can put some puppets over. We have bottom entry and back entry designs for different puppets. It is LITE because it only has 2 functions (Head left and right, Mouth open and closed). You can program your own LITE MAGICTRAX or control the puppet LIVE.
Are the Systems Upgradeable?
We designed the Hands-Free Puppet Systems to have an upgrade path. You can start with the introductory system EZ Live, then you can upgrade to either the VENT or MAGIC2 system, VENT can upgrade to the Magic2 System, then MAGIC2 can be upgraded to Multiple Character control by adding MediaStar. Additional controls and options are being developed for these systems as we go along. You can check with Tech Support for more information on upgrades.
The Hands-Free LITE system is not upgradable to the other Hands-Free Puppet Systems. It is based on our Hands-Free Magic Drawing Board circuitry.
Do you make custom animatronics?
Yes we have a full custom character service. Our custom puppets are used by the top professionals in the business as you can see here on our CUSTOM PAGE. We can also turn any custom puppet into a unique animatronic character with our team of engineers. Any animation you can dream up, can become a reality with Axtell Expressions.
If you already have a Trademark branded Character we can turn it into an animatronic, or if you would like one developed by us for your show or business, email Steve and get it going!
How does it compare to other systems?
There used to be many animatronic options years ago before computer graphics and virtual realty kind of shut down many of the great companies doing work in movies and entertainment. There are just a few giants out there at the top of the field doing amazing work. Our vision is to fill that gap and start a revolution of sorts.... so anyone who wants to invest in this business venture with high quality animatronic characters can finally afford to jump in! We think we have something special and here is why:
COST - Our system is amazingly low cost investment that can generate income for years to come. These professional high tech systems built by our team of engineers, not electronic toys! Once you realize how involved these are mechanically, and how "cutting edge" our technology is, you will be amazed at the low prices. it is actually the the first time in history that an animatronic line as powerful as these were made available at such a low price! Just a few years ago before we entered the scene, something like these would have sold for $50,000 to $100,000. We have spent many years and our team has invested heavily in their development to bring you cutting edge technology on a budget! It's kind of a revolution! So they really are an investment...if you want to see the power of these characters, and can afford to invest in your business or show, you have come to the right place!
AMAZING AXTELL CHARACTERS - one of the strengths of our system is the Axtell Character designs. Audiences love them even before they speak! It is FAR more entertaining to see a whimsically designed character moving around and talking magically! Audience observation has revealed that people are more aware of design errors and bothered by animatronics that are trying to be realistic and lifelike.There is just something "off" and "not right" even "odd or weird", and they focus on those instead of enjoying the show. When you move into the "character world" and abandon realism you open up the imagination of your audience and the fun begins! We have nearly 100 whimsical characters available and custom characters can be made just for you!
FEATURE PACKED with EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS-
PROGRAMMING IS SO EASY - Our system is packed with features including LIVE real time programming which saves you Hours and Days of time. Some other systems are so complex that you need a degree in computer programming to work it, and then just try to get some help! Some require each single servo channel action to be programmed with your computer mouse. We looked into these and tried them and it drove us crazy! We took the crazy out of it and created a system that is INTUITIVE and NATURAL! The process of programming is just as easy as operating the character in LIVE mode with the transmitter! It ROCKS and you will love it! Also with our system you see your real character reacting wirelessly in real time during your programming. Some other systems have a visual representation on a computer screen - you never really get what you want like that. Simplicity is the key to programming new shows and making money with these systems.
FLEXIBLE CONTROL - Some other systems require a computer to perform. Ours is optional. With our system you can play our special control MagicTrax® on a computer with a large display for cues if you want, or put them on an iPOD or any Mp3 Player... even a CD Player or cassette player. We can also create custom MagicTrax for you in our studio (your voices or ours) and we can email the finished mp3 to you. Then you just pop it into your system and watch it! Amazingly flexible!
WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY - You can set the character out in the open or on stage with no wires connected to it. You can control them from a hidden key FOB in your hand. Even the battery supply is hidden either inside the stand or inside the seat the character is sitting on. We do not use Infrared signal like your TV remote control where you have to be pointing directly at the receiver. We use Radio Control and 2.4 GHz for secure locked in wireless connection without interference. Our system is FCC approved and CE certified. Most other hand-made or hobby systems are not even tested, so you run the risk of illegally operating equipment which might cause problems with other wireless devices. You do NOT want that to happen! Play it safe with the Axtell system.
AUTO-ALIVE With our system Auto-Alive® automatically keeps the character moving and alive between tracks for as long as you want. Other system play a track and the robot stops dead. Oh and there are several auto-alives to choose from and can be custom made! They can look central, dominantly Left, or dominantly Right, move very slow and relaxed, or more active, etc.
DIRECTIONAL DOMINANCE - Say you want to stand on the right side of a character so you have programmed it that way.... but you change your mind and really want to stand on the left side now. You don't have to reprogram! Just switch the dominance to the other side and the head movements of the character will switch sides just like a human would do! Other systems don't do this.
SMOOTH MOVEMENTS - Our unique robot design and programming provides you with the smoothest movements available, our animatronics do not bang & jerk into extreme positions like SOOO many others. Even the transition when a MagicTrax ends, and Auto-Alive begins is engineered to be blended smooth and seamless so there is no noticeable change.
MOTORMOUTH - gives you microphone sound level control over the mouth movement of the character, and it's not just open and close positions like other systems. Ours is VARIABLE and REALISTIC.... speak quietly and it moves just a little, speak loud and it opens big.... hold a long note of a song and it stays open just like you want! You can even connect an audio source to the MotorMouth jack without using a microphone. Auto-Alive provides the natural body motion during Motor-Mouth, so no programming is needed. In fact, you can create your own "split-track stereo recording" with music and sound effects with voice on one side, and voice only on the other side. Using a splitter you can send the voice only track to the MotorMouth jack and you have a fully animated character without ANY PROGRAMMING!
ELECTRONIC MENU CONTROLS - the system is packed with menu settings and parameters you can change such as blending amount, dominance switching, mouth opening range, auto-alive selection and so much more.
TECH SUPPORT - One of the biggest features of our system is our company! We provide great Customer Service and free Tech Support to help orginial purchasers with your system. We also provide a User Forum and full library of video tutorials and documentation for you! Second hand buyers will need to register and purchase the tech support package.
Can I make money with a Hands-Free Animatronic Character?
YES! If you are a variety performer such as a magician, ventriloquist, clown, juggler you can put your show on steroids by adding one of these characters to the show! We have heard from many full time performers who have seen BIG increases in their show bookings once adding a character. It really is that "something special" that can get you more bookings over the competition. Not only will your stage show see increased bookings but you can now strictly make money with the character too!
You can hire out the animatronic character and yourself as entertainment at events like Festivals, Concerts, Trade shows, Parties, etc. Based on the increase of traffic your character can generate you can charge quite a nice sum, depending on your area. One of the best ways to generate traffic is to hide yourself and operating the character in LIVE mode. You can have the character commenting on people watching them and strike up very funny conversations. they will come running from all over to see it in action!
Retail stores, malls, restaurants and theme parks can also generate much more business and word-of-mouth by adding one of these characters to greet your guest or present information. Imagine a Toucan greeting your guests and telling them about your events and specials!
How do I program and play a program back into the Character with the Magic2 System?
It's amazingly simple with our breakthrough technology. First you record the voice and create a sound track. Then you play that track and perform the character to that track with the LIVE Transmitter and it is captured on the computer. If you make a mistake you can stop and find a starting point anywhere in the track, replacing where you messed up. You don't have to start over from the beginning with programming on our system! The Axtell Animation Control System will smooth out those edit points with it's electronic blending feature during playback!
The program is saved into a special mp3 file called a MagicTrax. That file which contains both the audio and the synced animation data is played from any source (computer, iPOD, mp3 player) into our Hands-Free Animation System to wirelessly control the character! Don't worry about how it's done yet.... we have full tutorial videos, instructions, an owners forum and free tech support from our animatronics department!
Learn how they operate before you buy - Check the VIDEOS out here.
Where does the sound come from?
The audio sound comes from the mp3 player into your PA System. We did not pack tiny speakers into the character because the sound would be garbage. You need high quality audio for a great presentation. Your audience needs to hear the character well and will laugh louder and enjoy the show better when the sound is quality and loud enough to be heard well. Technically the audio is played from the Netbook or other mp3 player into our Magic2 Box, then from the audio out jack it plugs into your PA system. The box also wirelessly transmits the movement to the character.... it is amazing technology. Different sized crowds and environments require different systems. If you need a small portable wireless system for small to medium sized crowds we have one available HERE.
What is the warranty we get when we buy one?
The Axtell Hands-Free Animation Control System is 12 months limited warranty on the circuitry and hardware for original owners only.
The character, face, body covering, servos, linkage, receiver and battery is 3 months.
The Transmitter Radio is 3 years.
The Netbook computer is 1 year.
Only parts and labor provided by Axtell Expressions are covered under the warranty during the term. Other costs such as shipping, import taxes, insurance, etc. are not covered or reimbursed.
We have full free tech support from our animatronics staff and very quick turn around for any repairs needed.
No these are not noisy pneumatic systems like you see at theme parks that slam and bam all day long. Our systems are smoothly animated with sophisticated servo motors and they need to be cooled by turning them off between periods of operation. We recommend 1/2 hour maximum on time, with 1/2 hour turned off cooling time. If you run a 15 minute routine, then turn it off for the equal time of 15 minutes. Leaving servos on too long can cause them to overheat and they can burn out, so proper operation time is a must. When the system is turned on the motors are working, even if you are not moving the character, the motors are holding the character still and in place. Leaving servos on too long can cause them to overheat and they can burn out, so proper operation time is a must.
What kind of training or tech support is available?
We have instructions, a full library of video tutorials, a private Hands-Free Customer forum for owners to discuss technical issues and marketing ideas, and free Technical Support from our Animatronics Staff HERE.
How far away can you operate it?
The Transmitter Radio is 2.4 GHz so it can operate for greater than a mile away, but you would want to be closer to your character than that so you could hear the crowd and interact. The VENT remote FOB works within 30 feet, and the FOB to control the Netbook Computer MagicTrax is 150 feet! All of our wireless technology is RF (radio frequency).
How long will the batteries last? Is it universal power for any country?
Most of our customers have reported between 3 and 5 hours of running time from a full charge, however it depends on the age of the battery and the amount of use it gets during performances. The Puppet's Power is a universal AC adapter for any countries wall power, however the Transmitter we sell in the USA has only a 110v adapter. A universal adapter is available to purchase as an option if you are also traveling overseas. If you live in a country that has a power supply different than USA your transmitter will be shipped from the UK and will have CE approval and power ratings for Europe, etc.
How difficult is it to operate?
It's more difficult than reading your watch, but it's much easier than the other systems out there. If you are really technically challenged, get frustrated easily by details, and haven't even set the clock on your DVD player.... you might just want to get one of our hand puppets instead of this.....BUT if you are up to a little learning and are excited about using some cutting edge technology to bring characters to life..... get this now! Performers in over 20 countries are using them now!
Remember, we have instructions, tutorial videos, a private owners forum, and free tech support to help you bring your dreams into reality with the Axtell Hands-Free Animatronic Systems!
Have you sold these to other people and are they satisfied with them?
OH YES we have a very excited user base and have them operating now in over 20 countries! Some are installations in stores and theme parks, but some are individual performers like these HERE!
How do I order one?
First we will need a $2500 deposit to begin making your system. We have provided a BUY BUTTON on each system type which you can use to pay the deposit in our secure shopping cart system. Once you have paid your deposit, our Customer Service Department will contact you with follow up questions as to which character and what accessories you want to order. They will also work up a quote with shipping to your address.
CLICK on the character you like at the top of this page.
For the Hands-Free Magic Drawing Board use THIS LINK.
You can also contact our Customer Service directly with Questions or to make your deposit by phone:
Telephone 805 642-7282
Email - email@example.com
Fax - 805 650-2139
Does it make noise?
Servos are electric motors and they do have mechanical sound when they move. When you first get an animatronic character you may focus on the sound because you will probably be in a quiet room when you begin to play with it in your house. The sound however falls away when your audience sees the performance. Use background music and a sound system so the music & voice of the character is louder than the servo sounds.We have these systems all over the world performing for audiences and they LOVE them and don't pay attention to the servos sound.... Entertainment trumps all that!