the speaker

Gustav Hoegen

Animatronics in the Digital Age
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Why use Animatronics in the digital age?
How can the development of robotics benefit from collaborating with special effect artists like myself?
Will we ever create a humanoid robot that will pass the Turing Test?

“From an early age I developed a real love for sci-fi and fantasy films that relied heavily on practical FX.” 


“The significance of this object to me 

  is not necessarily the object itself.

 It’s significance is what it represents.”

It represents my pursuit of a career in creature FX. It represents my passion for the craft of Animatronics.
The ups and downs I encountered developing and perfecting it. It represents the journey I’ve been on for 24 years.
Gustav Hoegen founds BioMimic Studios:

Gustav Hoegen



Gustav Hoegen’s passion for film began as he grew up in Holland in the 80s. He was struck by the mesmeric effect that animatronics could produce in the mind.

He immersed himself in films like Alien and Star Wars, which relied heavily on practical effects and robotic creatures—drawn to the revolutionary combination of anatomy and engineering. It’s a discipline that requires intense study of human and animal movement, and how best to translate that into a lifelike machine.

Hoegen’s founding of Biomimic Studio in London allowed him to become a master of his own creations. He has achieved his own Holy Grail by progressing from a budding film enthusiast to a Star Wars animatronics creator. Among his most uncanny creations are eerily realistic heads. They mimic human movement, and are seen in films like “Prometheus” and “Rogue One.”

Hoegen’s interest goes even deeper, to the future of robots and how they interact with humans.

He consults with robot designers to make humanoids more realistic. Hoegen said he’s intrigued by the way designers explore the psychology of robots and how humans respond and interact with them. It's all about trying to pin down the soul in the machine.

Hoegen would welcome the day when realistic-looking robots roam among us. But it’s not here yet, he says.

“I think we’re still decades away from creating something that even gets close to looking like a real human being,” says Hoegen. “If you want to create something you stand in front of and can’t tell the difference, that’s going to take a long time.”


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Gustav Hoegen

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Animatronics in the Digital Age
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