Pennsylvania Lottery's "Gus the Groundhog"

Sure, he looks scruffy and tubby. But that's our Gus! He's the new spokesanimal for the Pennsylvania Lottery, and PA lottery ticket sales shot up from $16 million a month to $22 million after Gus' campaign debuted! Not bad for the second most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania!

Gus is a wisecracking groundhog who's always looking to get lucky! Er, by winning the current month's lottery, that is! He's also a sophisticated animatronic rod puppet. He has a foam body and a synthetic fur covering, but underneath he's like the Terminator, with machined aluminum joints, servomechanisms, and cables of steel!

Gus requires 4 puppeteers to operate: One for his head and body, one for his arms, and another 2 for all his facial movements. His face is incredibly expressive, with dual axis ears, eyes up/down. eyes side/side, and blinks, 2-axis eyebrows, nose up/down, 2 axis jaw, smile, and 4 axis lip movement. This enables Gus to smile, frown, smirk, speak, and come to life!

As he is so small, many of the servos needed to provide his animatronic funcions are mounted externally, with the cables running through spring housings on their way up to his head.

Check out some of his progress pics and movies!

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