For the 1rst time ever, animatronic technology is roaring at the Calgary Zoo, Alberta Canada, in the form of a life-sized talking, moving male lion to help local conservation efforts. The one-of-a-kind animatronic lion, sponsored by ING DIRECT, is the latest addition to the Calgary Zoo’s animal collection.

This innovative animatronic technology produced by a local Calgary company, Bleeding Art, is the only one worldwide. The ING DIRECT Conservation Lion both entertains visitors and helps raise funds and awareness for conservation issues.

The ING DIRECT Conservation Lion lives on the roof of the research cabin in the TransAlta Rainforest building and entices zoo patrons to donate a dollar to hear an informative and entertaining conservation message. All net proceeds go to the Calgary Zoo’s conservation efforts which support a variety of programs in Canada and around the world.

The show is controlled by a GilderKuke show control system using the popular DMX serial protocol which allows a master show controller to broadcast a packet of information up to 44 times per second (250K baud) over an RS-485 line in synch with an audio track. The DMX frame contains 512 bytes or “Slots” of data to control such things as lighting dimmers, I/O, and QuickSilver’s servo motors. Each piece of equipment is pre-con(gured to only receive data from its Slot. Therefore, all the show elements are synchronized.

At startup, the eleven QuickSilver servos home to hard stops. The show controller then takes over and streams continuous DMX position data to the servos motor controller.


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