This interactive machine based on the hit 1960's TV sitcom "The Munsters" requires you to keep the two push buttons held down to keep the performance going, and actually surprises you with an electric tingle towards the end! Can you hold on ,or will you let go and let Herman return to sleep (game over)?


This slim machine  stands at 6' 4" tall and is loaded with unique features.The mechanical Herman Munster opens his eyes, looks left and right, turns his head on a x-y axis, left and right as well as forward and backward. He also moves his arms in and out and says something different each time a coin is deposited ( taken from old tv episodes)

Pushing the buttons keeps him animated as he talks. During the performance the electrical box turns on with a moving analog gauge,flashing lights,and electric blue flickering "conductors" up top. Herman becomes curious by this and moves the two electric cables he's holding together. When they touch, a buzzer sounds and a strobe light comes on as Herman (and you) get shocked!




This build has a lot going on in a little cabinet. 

It operates on a main logic board, two audio boards, 5 driver boards,and many relays.

(Shock produced is a mild and harmless  DC voltage tingle ,and is adjustable)



Final Product

This project was a custom ordered option from my fortune teller machine kits. Made to promote the Madam Clara brand tarot card decks at www.MadamClara .com.


Features intelligent body language thanks to an expressive 3-axis head mechanism, in conjunction with  3-axis arm movements which gives smooth  lift, pan, and pivot arm animation in one fluid motion for a beautiful and unique fortune teller machine.

A more robust gimbal styled head mechanism was designed to support the heavy weight of the head, (the same 3-axis gimbal head movement is now also available as an option for all fortune teller machine kits)

. Also, because of the heavy weight of the hands, the arm structures were reinforced and utilizes slightly larger motors than usual to compensate for the added weight.


System activates with an antique 5 cent coin slide, and has music playing capabilities. System operates on a single main control module for simplicity and ease of installation for the user.

A selection of  coin-op amusement machines   and life-sized animatronic builds featuring imaginative  concept designs.

         

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                "The Plague Weilder"

This was a custom made "misfortune " teller machine I built for the contemporary artist Max Hooper Schneider, to be displayed in an art gallery in Paris, France. The cabinet was hand crafted, as were the mechanics and electronics, and Max provided the finishing touches.


Theme:An animated flea inside a post-apocalyptic  cabinet moves around to doomsday music as an illuminated dark crystal ball spins. At the end of the program a "misfortune" card is vended describing how you will die in the plague. Ironically, this was made five years before the Covid-19 pandemic that swept the world.


The flea's head also moves when you walk past the machine while it's not in operation. A different twist on the classic  fortune teller machines.

I designed and built the cabinet, the operating system,and installed motors to animate the flea figure supplied from Max Schneider ( flea figure was previously used in a 2008 cell phone TV commercial). Operates on a basic system with three circuit boards ( master, slave, and audio).


Some later changes Max made for the final product was the removal of the metal laser-cut marquee, a stationary crystal ball,more lavish scenery inside (true to his usual style of work),  and the side glass panes covered up.



I



Constructing the head...

Autumn 2022

Summer 2022

Autumn 2016

 Hitchcock lives on and can be seen in person at the Tiburon, California location

Build 65% Completed

Made exclusively for www.MadamClara.com

Large Scale Projects Portfolio​

​​"Zoltan"  Fortune Teller Machine Control  Module

Click on the button to view the article posted by Contemporary Art Daily on this machine 

Winter 2019

Summer 2015


This machine was custom made for River City Saloon in Old Sacramento ,California. Player has to guess how many beers the animatronic old west bartender will drink by pushing a button to select 1-4 beers. If the player guesses right, the machine vends a voucher for a free drink  at the establishment (if you guess wrong the character laughs at you).


Features an actual working beer tap, a fully animated figure that interacts with the customer (has 14 different programmed movements),a wild west themed cabinet,stereo sound,programmed lights, and much more.


This build took a good amount of time from the designing phase to completion, and was pretty challenging. The key point I wanted to implement was to have a random winning drink . Difficult but not impossible, it works like a slot machine where making a selection/guess by pushing a button will provide a different result every time, with a loose to win ratio programmed at 7:1.


The handmade character  features moving and blinking eyes, moving mouth in sync to speech, pan and tilt head, and body leans forward and back. The operating system features a main logic board, 5 slave boards, 2 audio boards , and two additional logic boards for the bill validator and flickering lantern.

For the cabinet I tired to give it an old saloon feel inside and out with embellishments like illuminated lanterns,and simulated weathered wood .












Winter 2018

This Alfred Hitchcock animatronic character was designed and custom built for Cinelounge cimemas as a greeter to welcome guests into their theatre lobby. 

Upon a guest entering the lobby, a reflective beam sensor is tripped at the entrance door  which opens  the stage curtains, while Hitchcock spins around as  lights and music fade up.

His right arm has three motions as a gesture to welcome guests in : rotate out, lift up, and palm upwards. 


Some of the other features include realistic silicone skin, expressive eyelid movement, speech in sync to any audio tracks, realistic (and greasy) hand punched hair, 2- motion left arm, lift and rotate head motion, and much more. At the end of the 50 second greeting, Hitchcock spins back to his side profile ( as in the intro to the old TV show" Alfred Hitchcock Presents") as the curtains close and lights fade out. 2-channel stereo audio allows for background music to play as well as speech.


System has a 6 minute delay in between shows . This allows the electric motors to rest during high traffic times for overall longevity of the character. An automated curtain in front of the character also opens up at the beginning of the performance and closes at the end ( not shown) . Heavy-duty solid aluminum frame, and quality DC motors provide many years of dependable service. Operates on a 2-part primary and secondary control module system which has options built in for the operator to easily adjust the characters body position, plug their AC lights into the programmed outlet, turn illuminated eyes on/off , and insert micro sd cards in the slots for the music and speech audio.


A customer came to us with a vintage Zoltan fortune teller machine that wasn't working and rather than repairing the outdated 8-track system, desired to upgrade it with a modern operating control system. He supplied us with the original fortune audio tracks that was transferred into mp3 format, and we designed an easy to install system that operates like the original, but with using solid state electronics so that it will provide many years of service.


For this build it was tempting to improve the machine by adding to the way it once operated, such as pulsating and programmed lights to give it more life, but the customer wanted to operate just like the original,so that's what we did. .

Madam Clara"  The Fortune Teller

Realistic skin tones and facial hair (even nose hair)