Those of us that grew up in the 1980s may remember being entertained and/or terrorized by Showbiz Pizza’s animatronic band, the Rock-afire Explosion. As you might suspect, some of these characters have gone into disrepair, and after obtaining two of them from an amusement park in Kentucky, Jack Turner and his father have restored them to working order.
As seen at Maker Faire Bay Area, the bots are controlled via a pneumatic system and an Arduino-based controller. Turner reports that, while the former band members didn’t work due to stuck cylinders and leaking tubing, mechanically they were fairly sound, making a great platform for experimentation.
Though Billy Bob the Bear looks ready to perform, Mitzi Mozzarella, a mouse, is actually missing her face, showing her robotic innards. Turner plans to leave Billy Bob as-is, but come up with his own character in the future for Mitzi.
Getting the Old Showbiz Pizza Robot Band Back Together was originally published in Hackster’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.