Over the last 6 weeks I’ve been working on a rather unique prop for the Sydney stage play Shellshock. I was approached to create a small, realistic animatronic tortoise to be controlled remotely while on stage.
The play debuted at Riverside Theatres on 30 July 2015 and Herman starred with a full cast including effects from a variety of media including shaddow puppets and projections.
The mechanical tortoise is fully articulated, with a moving head operated by joystick, and moving legs. Herman is an all-terrain tortoise with the ability to maneuver slopes and rough ground. Herman also has a twin-brother who is a static prop, designed to be used for scenes where the actors need to interact with him, although the mechanical tortoise survived being used as the only version used in the stage production.
At the request of the production I put together a short pamphlet aimed at school groups viewing the show, outlining how Herman was constructed.