Meet ‘Huggable,’ the Robot Bear Who’s Helping Hospitalized Kids

FRIDAY, June 28, 2019 — He sings, he plays games — and Huggable the ‘social robot’ teddy bear could be good medicine for kids in the hospital.

In a study of 50 children, aged 3 to 10 years, the plush bear boosted spirits, eased anxiety and even lowered perceived pain levels, say Boston Children’s Hospital researchers.

“It’s exciting knowing what types of support we can provide kids who may feel isolated or scared about what they’re going through,” said study first author Deirdre Logan, a pediatric psychologist at the hospital.

Logan noted that hospital staffers provide a lot of support to help kids feel comfortable, but they can’t be with every kid all the time.

“Social robots create a more consistent presence throughout the day,” Logan said. “There may also be kids who don’t always want to talk to people, and respond better to having a robotic stuffed animal with them.”

The robot is not designed to replace health care specialists, only to assist them, the study authors noted.

Study co-author Cynthia Breazeal, founding director of the Personal Robots Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said, “Our group designs technologies with the mindset that they’re teammates … We want technology to support everyone who’s invested in the quality care of a child.”

For the study, the researchers split the young patients into three groups: One used the robotic teddy; another group used a tablet-based, virtual Huggable; and the third group had traditional teddy bears.

The robotic teddy bear is operated by a specialist in the hall outside a child’s hospital room. The specialist controls the robot’s facial expressions and body actions, directs its gaze, talks through a speaker that shifts the voice to a higher pitch to sound more childlike, and monitors the patient via camera.

The specialist sang nursery rhymes to younger children and moved the robotic bear’s arms during the song, and played the “I Spy” game with older patients.

The tablet-based, virtual Huggable had identical gestures and was also remotely operated.

But kids preferred playing with the Huggable robot to either the virtual version or a traditional teddy bear, according to the study published online June 26 in the journal Pediatrics.

Kids who played with the robot got out of bed and moved around more and made an emotional connection with the robot, asking it personal questions and inviting it to come back later to meet their families. Parents reported their kids had less pain when they interacted with the robot.

“Such improved emotional, physical and verbal outcomes are all positive factors that could contribute to better and faster recovery in hospitalized children,” the researchers concluded in their report.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers advice for parents when a child needs emergency hospital care.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Kids With Autism Learn, Grow With the ‘Social Robot’

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22, 2018 — Robots may hold the keys to social success for kids with autism.

That’s the takeaway from an experimental home-based therapy in which autonomous “social” robots modeled and encouraged behaviors like maintaining eye contact and paying attention while playing with 12 children with autism spectrum disorder. The kids were between 6 and 12 years of age.

For the mother of one boy who took part in the month-long experiment, the gains were a real eye-opener. She said her son’s interactions with people who he’s not close to had been “a little awkward at times.”

“From watching the robot and interacting with the robot, that really engaged him, and it made him, I think, connect the dots. His interactions became more consistent. His eye contact became more consistent,” said the mother, who did not want to be identified. She sat beside her son as an observer during the half-hour daily sessions.

“It really just showed me how bright he is and how quick he is,” the mother said, giving her fingers a quick snap. “And it gave us time together, to kind of learn about each other. He’s a lot of fun, and this really brought out really good qualities for him.”

The Yale University-led experiment was the first to deploy an autonomous robot in the home for autism therapy, said study leader Brian Scassellati.

“We dropped these robots off and left them in the home for a month, and all decisions about what to do, how difficult to make a problem, and how to keep a child engaged were made by the robot,” Scassellati said.

He is director of the NSF Expedition on Socially Assistive Robotics at Yale.

Developed specifically to support autism therapy, the desktop robots told stories and guided kids through a series of interactive games focused on improving social skills, emotional understanding, sequencing and perspective.

Other studies investigating robots in autism therapy have focused on scripted or human-controlled interactions in a laboratory, Scassellati said.

That includes work by a group of Dutch researchers, who earlier this year also reported success in helping children with autism improve their social skills after working with their own robotic design.

Their robot — named “Nao” and tested by researchers at the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands — walked, talked and danced under the real-time control of attending therapists.

In contrast, Scassellati’s robot charted its own decision-making course during daily therapy sessions, using software developed for this experiment.

As a caregiver looked on, the desk-based robot (accompanied by a camera and a touch-screen monitor) told stories and led interactive games.

“The robot acted in part as the game moderator, selecting appropriate difficulty levels, posing new challenges [and] advancing the narrative of the games,” Scassellati explained. By turns, it took on the role of partner, competitor, coach or mentor, while “encouraging engagement and appropriate social behavior.”

Such behaviors included teaching kids how to comfortably make eye contact or how to pay attention to others during a conversation.

In other words, Scassellati said, the robot basically hit all the bases that a human therapist might touch, without the high cost such treatment would entail.

After a month of robotic training, researchers analyzed more than 125 hours of therapy session video. It showed that the children were paying closer attention during interactions with adults — gains that lasted even after the robot training ended.

The findings suggest that robot-human interactions hold the potential to enhance people-to-people interactions under some circumstances.

As to why, Scassellati acknowledged that the jury is still out. With a robot, he said, there’s no social pressure to get things right the first time, and that lowered level of anxiety may be key.

“The best hypothesis that we have is that the robots are social, but not too social,” Scassellati said.

“They are social enough that people treat them like agents; they make eye contact with them, they talk to them, and they generally treat them as if they were alive. However, they are not so social that the children feel nervous or anxious about interacting with them,” he added.

Thomas Frazier, chief science officer for Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization, said using a robot to interact with both child and caregiver, and tailoring the difficulty of tasks and games is an “important advance.”

“The authors are careful to note several of the current limitations, including the relatively restricted context in which the robot is being used. But, at the same time, this provides a nice advance toward the ultimate goal of personalized support throughout the day and in various settings,” Frazier said.

“The fact that engagement was so high, performance improved and caregivers felt that the child’s behavior improved is impressive,” he added.

The report was published Aug. 22 in Science Robotics.

One family talks about the experience of spending a month working with a robot:

Video courtesy: Brian Scassellati, Yale University

More information

Learn more about autism at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2018

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Frederator Launches ‘Get in the Robot’, a YouTube Anime Club

Frederator Studios (Bee and Puppycat, Bravest Warriors, Castlevania), a WOW! Unlimited Media company, has launched the first “video anime club,” dubbed Get in the Robot. Designed as a first stop for people just getting into anime as well as a destination for established enthusiasts, the channel is a platform for fans to learn more about their favorite shows with expert commentary on the artform in general as well as specific hot-ticket series like Dragon Ball Z, My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan.

Frederator is also planning to bring the club into the physical world with offline events and merchandise.

“We feel strongly that anime is going to break mainstream in a strong way over the next 12 to 18 months, and we want to grow with it,” said Jeremy Rosen, VP of Programming & Networks at Frederator. “The team here represents a spectrum of anime fans and we realized there’s a huge pool of underserved fans who aren’t interested in gatekeeping, antagonistic fandom. They want to get hyped together and enjoy these shows together. Our goal with Get in the Robot is to serve those fans and grow that welcoming, fun aspect of western anime fandom.”

Get in the Robot seeks to make anime accessible to all, with entertaining programming and relatable talent. The experts on board for the channel at launch, who will appear across programs, all have a broad knowledge base and passion for anime. They include Curtis Richardson, an animator and collegiate track and field star; Yedoye Travis, a big fan of Dragon Ball Z and comedian who integrates anime into his comedy; and Cristal Marie, a musician and veteran Frederator show host who started an anime convention in the Dominican Republic. Get in the Robot also aims to be a gateway for people who are curious about anime, taking a deliberate approach to the channel’s visual design, tone of voice, and properties covered to appeal to a wider, more casual audience.

Follow Get in the Robot on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram to join the otaku convo.

Frederator is known for its animated hits across all platforms, and for cultivating a 3,00 member community of animation, art, gaming and entertainment-focused creators through its Channel Frederator Network.

Animation Magazine

‘Robot Trains’ on Track in Spain and Portugal

Robot Trains

Robot Trains

Top Italian animation producer and distributor Mondo TV, has announced a number of big sales for its animated show Robot Trains in Spain and Portugal. The show will be launching on Spain’s DTT channel Clan TVE, following the debut of the series on Portugal’s cable and satellite channel Canal Panda. TV distribution in Iberia is managed by Mondo TV Iberoamerica, a distributor and producer of audiovisual content operating in Spain, Portugal, Latin America and the Spanish-speaking United States.

In Spain, Panini has signed to launch a sticker album in January 2019, with other titles to follow, while Comansi will launch a figurines range in the second quarter of 2019 and Gedis will bring Calamity Car and 3D figurine versions of Robot Trains characters to kiosks, starting later this year. Bizak is distributing the toy range in Spain on behalf of master toy licensee Silverlit.

The show, produced by one of South Korea’s largest content and marketing companies, CJ E&M, is already a big hit in Korea where it has enjoyed licensing success in toys, publishing, kitchenware, food, back to school, stationery and more. The first season of Robot Trains airs on a number of leading free-to-air channels, including Cartoonito in Italy, Gulli in France, Canal Panda in Portugal, Carousel in Russia, Cartoonito UK and Dkids in the Middle East.

“Spain and Portugal are key markets for Robot Trains, where we are confident that the show’s wonderful cast of characters and engaging, exciting storylines, give it very strong prospects,” says Maria Bonaria Fois, Mondo TV Iberoamerica’s managing director. “We’re also planning more announcements very soon. The Robot Trains success story continues!”

Robot Trains

Robot Trains

Animation Magazine

Meet Nao, the Robot That Helps Kids With Autism

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) — It may seem counterintuitive, but a robot might help kids with autism interact better with humans.

This two-foot-tall robot goes by the name of Nao, and young kids who had therapy that included Nao made more progress on their social skills than those who didn’t get to work with the robot, researchers report.

“This research using a combination of behavioral therapy plus a robot is promising,” said Alycia Halladay, chief science officer of the Autism Science Foundation.

Children with autism often experience social deficits. They don’t make eye contact, instead gazing elsewhere. They have trouble picking up on social cues like a smile or grimace. They struggle to express themselves.

To help children with autism learn social skills, therapists for decades have used Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) — a form of behavioral analysis that utilizes play to increase kids’ desire to learn good social behavior.

In this study, Dutch researchers evaluated whether PRT that included the robot would make a more lasting impression on the children.

Nao (pronounced “now”) is manufactured by Aldebaran Robotics, a French company specializing in humanoid robots.

Nao can walk, talk, dance and engage kids in a number of activities meant to improve their ability to read facial expressions and maintain appropriate eye contact. Upon success, Nao can even offer a child a congratulatory high-five.

Kids in general love playing with robots, and prior research has shown that kids with autism, in particular, respond to robots, said lead researcher Iris Smeekens. She is a doctoral candidate with Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Human beings can be overwhelming to a kid with autism, displaying a cascade of movements and behaviors. On the other hand, robots are more reserved and reassuring to these children, Smeekens explained.

“Robots appeal to many children with autism spectrum disorder and show more predictable behavior, compared with humans,” Smeekens said.

In 20 weekly sessions, therapists controlled the robot through nine different game scenarios aimed at improving skills, such as asking for an object or activity, requesting help, or asking questions.

Continued

Three months after these sessions concluded, parents judged their kids’ autism symptoms using a questionnaire aimed at social skills.

Kids scored better if they underwent therapy with the robot, compared with either PRT alone or standard treatment, the researchers found.

The next step will be to test robotic therapy at more sites with longer follow-up periods, Smeekens said. In addition, the researchers will tweak the therapy to provide more specific treatment for kids.

“We noticed that nine different game scenarios with seven levels of complexity did not match all target behaviors of each child,” Smeekens said.

“It is important that the game scenarios that provide input for the behavior of the robot are more adjustable in content and level of complexity during the robot-child interaction to match with different target behaviors, skills and interests,” she explained.

Smeekens added that although these results are promising, researchers will need to figure out “which specific components are beneficial for which children with autism spectrum disorder before robots can be implemented into the clinical practice.”

The findings were to be presented Wednesday at the International Society for Autism Research annual meeting, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The research should be considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Alycia Halladay, Ph.D., chief science officer,  Autism Science Foundation; Iris Smeekens, doctoral candidate, Radboud University Medical Center,  Nijmegen, the Netherlands; May 9, 2018, presentation,  International Society for Autism Research annual meeting, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Mattel and Bad Robot Launch Monster Plans for ‘Beastlies’

Beastlies

L.A.-based sculptor Leslie Levings’ charming monsters The Beastlies are coming to animated or hybrid life, thanks to a new plan launched by Mattel and Bad Robot. According to Deadline, Bad Robot’s  J.J. Abrams pitched the characters to Mattel president/COO Richard Dickson two years ago when they met on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Although producers are tight-lipped about the details of the new project, Bad Robot and Mattel seem to have big plans for the creatures. “The Beastlies is a passion project we have been working on at Bad Robot for years with the creator of these extraordinary creatures, Leslie Levings. To finally bring The Beastlies to the world, in collaboration with the brilliant minds at Mattel, is an absolute dream,” said Abrams.

Dickson told Deadline,  “Abrams presented this character concept he believed is aesthetically inspiring and creative, and then we got together the character drawings and creative conversations and that brought us to the point where we could reveal the partnership and concept…The combination of JJ and Bad Robot’s content creator powerhouse abilities and Mattel’s global marketing and branding abilities seemed a strong match for an amazing collaborative effort.”

Levings’s website describes the colorful Beastlies as “small but expressive monsters collected by fans around the world.” Her work has been exhibited in galleries around the country, and as far away as Tokyo. Her Beastlies and other creations have appeared in several publications, including the cover of the farewell issue of Nintendo Power. She also founded and runs the Wayward Retreat, a creative retreat for women pursuing their artistic passions that is held annually on a small island in Canada.

Beastlies

Beastlies

Beastlies

Beastlies

Animation Magazine

‘Smart’ Robot Technology Could Give Stroke Rehab a Boost

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 — Scientists say they have developed a “smart” robotic harness that might make it easier for people to learn to walk again after a stroke or spinal cord injury.

The harness, the researchers said, can be fine-tuned to individual patients to help them find a more natural walking pattern as they go through rehabilitation.

In early tests with 26 patients recovering from a spinal cord injury or stroke, the technology looked promising, according to a new report.

In general, the study found, the system allowed patients to move with a more natural gait, and better balance and coordination.

The researchers also saw immediate effects among five spinal cord injury patients. Right after an hour of training with the harness, the patients were able to move more easily using their usual assist devices, such as crutches or a walker.

Right now, rehab is often done the old-fashioned way, with patients supported by a therapist — or more than one — as they slowly learn to put one foot in front of the other.

When patients have more severe injuries, that’s an especially arduous process, said Dr. Preeti Raghavan, who directs motor recovery research at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation in New York City.

“If you need two or three people to hold the patient up, it becomes very laborious to even take a step forward,” said Raghavan, who was not involved in the study.

So, she said, robotic harness systems have been developed to assist therapists. They essentially consist of a harness attached to the ceiling that supports the patient on a treadmill.

“The trouble is,” Raghavan said, “large clinical trials have found that [the systems] don’t improve patients’ outcomes any more than the low-tech approach with a therapist.”

What’s “exciting” about the new research, Raghavan said, is that it may shed light on why the current harness systems have not improved recovery.

Gregoire Courtine, the senior researcher on the work, explained it this way: The current harnesses apply an upward force, working against gravity. But that also causes the patient’s body to shift backwards somewhat, which is destabilizing, said Courtine, a neuroscientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland.

So, the researchers said, that backward force needs to be balanced with a precisely calculated forward force. They developed an algorithm that can do that for each patient.

The result, said Courtine, is that the smart harness “re-establishes the natural interactions between the walking body and gravity.”

The harness is attached to the ceiling, and allows patients to move forward, backward and side-to-side.

“We take it for granted,” Raghavan said, “that in walking, there’s a delicate balance between the forces we apply to the ground, and the forces it applies to us.”

She said these early findings are an “interesting first step,” but important questions remain.

Larger studies are needed to compare the smart harness with standard versions, Raghavan said. And ultimately, she added, trials need to prove that the high-tech approach improves patients’ recovery.

Courtine agreed, and said such a trial is planned.

He said he and his colleagues are already working to commercialize a newer version of the robotic harness — dubbed RYSEN — along with the European company Motek Medical. Courtine and several co-researchers are inventors on patents submitted by their institution that cover the technology. RYSEN was also scheduled for presentation in London this week at the International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics.

It’s not clear when the approach might be available for widespread use. Raghavan cautioned that it can be “a long road” from the research setting to the real world.

But increasingly, researchers are looking to technology for ways to help patients recover the use of paralyzed limbs.

A recent development, Raghavan noted, is the robotic “exoskeleton,” which is used in some specialized centers. The devices attach directly to the affected body part to help facilitate movement during rehab sessions.

Nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many survivors have lingering disabilities that require rehab.

The study findings were published July 19 in Science Translational Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on stroke recovery.

Posted: July 2017

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‘Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III’ Coming in Fall

robot-chicken-150

The delightful madmen behind Robot Chicken are reuniting with the heroes and villains of DC Comics for a third special episode: Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Friendship Is Magic. The special and season eight of the Emmy-winning stop-motion series will premiere on Adult Swim this fall.

In Robot Chicken-DC mashup number three, Batman and Superman’s bromance takes a competitive turn and the fate of the universe hangs in the balance…somehow. The cast includes Seth Green, Matt Senreich, Breckin Meyer, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion, Weird Al Yankovic, Alex Borstein, Giovanni Ribisi, Jonathan Banks, Mae Whitman, Hugh Davidson, Dee Bradley Baker, Zeb Wells, Kevin Shinick and cult status dynamic duo Adam West and Burt Ward.

Series creators Green and Senreich  executive produce the special  with their Stoopid Buddy Stoodios partners John Harvatine IV and Eric Towner, along with DC Entertainment COO Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. Animation president Sam Register. RCDC Special III is directed by Tom Sheppard (Annoying Orange) and Zeb Wells. Head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root are joined by Shinick, Mike Fasolo, Hugh Davidson, Green, J.T. Krul, Meyer, Senreich and Sheppard.

Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Friendship Is Magic

Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Friendship Is Magic

Animation Magazine

Robot flies to Germany as airline passenger from Los Angeles

Alexander Herzog, a doctoral student at Max Planck Society, pushes 'Athena', the first 'humanoid' robot to fly as a passenger, as  they arrive at Los Angeles International Airport, California December 15, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

(Reuters) – A humanoid robot with a head, hands and feet and wearing stylish red sneakers boarded a flight for Germany at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday, becoming what was billed as the first robot traveling as a paid passenger on an airline.

The robot, named Athena, created a scene at the Tom Bradley International Terminal as she was pushed in a wheelchair up to the Lufthansa counter to pick up her ticket to Frankfurt. Television crews swarmed, camera flashes went off and people aimed their cell-phone cameras at her, exclaiming: “It’s a robot!”

Built by the Salt Lake City engineering and robotics company Sarcos, Athena was purchased by Germany’s Max Planck Society, which along with researchers at the University of Southern California are trying to make her perform tasks too dangerous for humans, such as cleanup after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan.

    “We don’t want humans to go there and sacrifice their lives,” said Max Planck doctoral student Alexander Herzog, who was pushing Athena through the airport. “I would like to have a robot achieve the same task, such as opening up doors and cleaning up.”

    Right now, Athena can do little more than sit and bask in attention. The software to make her legs move and stand is still in the works, though her arms can operate and her mouth glows blue on a white head fitted with cameras and sensors.

    She got an economy ticket but still enjoyed special treatment, including a cut to the front of the ticket line in the first-class lane.

And while Athena did not have to go through the regular metal detector, the Transportation Security Administration had a special electronic pat-down awaiting, said airport spokeswoman Nancy Suey Castles. “TSA didn’t want us to say what it was,” she said.

    As for the flight, Athena was strapped into a seat like a regular passenger, but was put in the off position, accompanied all the way to her new laboratory home in Germany by Herzog and Jeannette Bohg, senior research scientist at the Max Planck Society.

Representatives for Lufthansa could not be reached for comment.

    Athena could have been shipped in a big box like any other electronic gear, but the scientists “wanted to see how humans responded to a robot sitting in a plane,” said Castles.

Plus, added Herzog, “It’s cheaper to get a seat.”

(Reporting by Michael Fleeman; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Mohammad Zargham)


Reuters: Oddly Enough

Clip: ‘Robot Chicken’ Holiday Special Premieres Dec. 7

robot-chicken-150

Adult Swim will premiere the all-new The Robot Chicken Lots of Holidays but Don’t Worry Christmas Is Still in There Too so Pull the Stick Out of Your A** Fox News Special this Sunday, December 7 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. Check out the clip and tune in this weekend to revel in the irreverence.

The Robot Chicken Lots of Holidays but Don't Worry Christmas Is Still in There Too so Pull the Stick Out of Your A** Fox News Special

The Robot Chicken Lots of Holidays but Don’t Worry Christmas Is Still in There Too
so Pull the Stick Out of Your A** Fox News Special

The Robot Chicken Lots of Holidays but Don't Worry Christmas Is Still in There Too so Pull the Stick Out of Your A** Fox News Special

The Robot Chicken Lots of Holidays but Don’t Worry Christmas Is Still in There Too
so Pull the Stick Out of Your A** Fox News Special

Animation Magazine

VIDEO: 6 Young and Inspiring Inventors – Anyhoo

If you think youth is all about selfies and video games, think again! Watch this video and prepare to be inspired by these young inventors.

Read more… “VIDEO: 6 Young and Inspiring Inventors – Anyhoo”

Exclusive Clip: ‘Robot Chicken’ Season Finale

robot-chicken-150

The lovely (if slightly off their rockers) folks at Adult Swim have provided Animag with an exclusive clip culled from the season seven finale of Robot Chicken, premiering this Sunday at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on the late night block. “Chipotle Miserables” sees the mad scientist undergoing a cybernetic evolution and joining forces with his robotic poultry nemesis for an action-packed stop-motion extravaganza!

Robot Chicken

Robot Chicken

Animation Magazine

‘Robot Chicken,’ ‘Futurama’ Top Animated Emmy Noms

emmy-award-150

Robot Chicken and Futurama each scored two nominations in the animation and VFX categories for the 2014 Emmy Awards, announced this morning.

Robot Chicken earned a nomination for Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program for the “Born Again Virgin Christmas Special” episode, with co-creator Seth Green earning a nomination for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for the episode “DC Comics Special II: Villains in Paradise.”

The now-concluded Futurama series scored a nomination both for Outstanding Animated Program for the episode “Meanwhile” and Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for Maurice LaMarche in the episode “Calculon 2.0.”

The Simpsons was not nominated for Outstanding Animated Program for the first time since 1994, though Harry Shearer was nominated for voicing Kent Broc.

The list of animation and visual effects-related nominees follows:

Outstanding Animated Program

  • Archer • “Archer Vice: The Rules Of Extraction” • FX Networks • FX Productions
  • Bob’s Burgers • “Mazel Tina” • FOX • 20th Century Fox Television
  • Futurama • “Meanwhile” • Comedy Central • The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television
  • South Park • “Black Friday” • Comedy Central • Central Productions
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project • Nickelodeon • Nickelodeon

Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program

  • Adventure Time • “Be More” • Cartoon Network • Cartoon Network Studios
  • Disney’s Mickey Mouse • “‘O Sole Minnie” • Disney Channel • Disney Television Animation
  • Disney’s Phineas and Ferb • “Thanks But No Thanks” • Disney Channel • Disney Television Animation
  • Regular Show • “The Last Laserdisc Player” • Cartoon Network • Cartoon Network Studios
  • Robot Chicken • “Born Again Virgin Christmas Special” • Cartoon Network • Stoopid Buddy Stoodios

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance

  • Chris Diamantapolous as Mickey Mouse. Disney’s Mickey Mouse • “The Adorable Couple” • Disney Channel • Disney Television Animation
  • Stephen Full as Stan. Dog With A Blog • “My Parents Posted What?!” • Disney Channel • Dipthong Productions / It’s a Laugh Productions / Disney Channel
  • Seth MacFarlane as Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Glenn Quagmire. Family Guy • “In Harmony’s Way” • FOX • Fox Television Animation
  • Maurice LaMarche as Calculon and Morbo. Futurama • “Calculon 2.0? • Comedy Central • The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television
  • Seth Green as various characters. Robot Chicken DC Comics Special II: Villains In Paradise • Cartoon Network • Stoopid Buddy Stoodios
  • Harry Shearer as Kent Broc. The Simpsons • “Four Regrettings And A Funeral” • FOX • Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television

Outstanding Special And Visual Effects

Almost Human • “Pilot” • FOX • Bonanza Productions, Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television

  • Jay Worth, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Robert Habros, On-set Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Curtis Krick, VFX Producer
  • Steve Melchiorre, VFX Producer
  • Michael Cliett, VFX Lead
  • Christopher Lance, Digital Effects Supervisor
  • David Beedon, CG Supervisor
  • Adam Stern, Lead Environment Designer
  • Jared Jones, 2D Lead

COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey • “The Immortals” • FOX/NatGeo • Fuzzy Door Productions and Cosmos Studios, Inc. in association with FOX Broadcasting Company and National Geographic Channel

  • Rainer Gombos, Lead Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Addie Manis, Visual Effects Producer
  • Natasha Francis, Visual Effects Producer
  • Luke McDonald, Digital Supervisor
  • Sam Edwards, Compositing Supervisor
  • Michael Maher, Visual Effects Concept Artist
  • Dominic Vidal, Visual Effects
  • Ryan Tudhope, Visual Effects
  • Ergin Kuke, Visual Effects

Game Of Thrones • “The Children” • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions

  • Joe Bauer, Lead Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Joern Grosshans, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Steve Kullback, Lead Visual Effects Producer
  • Adam Chazen, Visual Effects Coordinator
  • Eric Carney, Visual Effects Previs Lead
  • Sabrina Gerhardt, Visual Effects Animation Producer
  • Matthew Rouleau, CG Supervisor
  • Thomas H. Schelesny, CG Sequence Supervisor
  • Robert Simon, Visual Effects Concept Designer

The 100 • “We Are Grounders, Part 2? • CW • Bonanza Productions in association with Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios

  • Andrew Orloff, Digital Effects Supervisor
  • Michael Cliett, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Tyler Weiss, Visual Effects Producer
  • Kornel Farkas, 2D Lead Compositor
  • Chris Pounds, Compositor
  • Andrew Bain, 3D Lead Artist
  • Mike Rhone, FX Lead Artist

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. • “T.A.H.I.T.I.” • ABC • ABC Studios in association with Marvel Television

  • Mark Kolpack, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Gary D’Amico, Special Effects Supervisor
  • Sabrina M. Arnold, Lead Visual Effects Producer
  • Tracy Takahashi, Visual Effects Producer
  • Jonathan Tanimoto, Digital Effects Supervisor
  • Kevin Lingenfelser, Senior Lead Compositor
  • Matt Von Brock, Senior Lead CG Artist
  • Thomas Mahoney, Senior Lead CG Artist
  • Mitch Gates, Lead CG Artist

Outstanding Special And Visual Effects In A Supporting Role

Black Sails • “I.” • Starz • Platinum Dunes and Quaker Moving Pictures in association with Starz Originals

  • Erik Henry, Senior Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Paul Graff, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • George Murphy, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Annemarie Griggs, Visual Effects Producer
  • Mitch Claspy, Visual Effects Coordinator
  • Jeremy Hattingh, Visual Effects On-set Lead
  • Doug Hardy, Special Effects Lead
  • Nick Hsieh, Compositing Lead
  • Steve Messing, Matte Artist

Da Vinci’s Demons • “The Sins of Daedalus” • Starz • Starz presents an Adjacent Production in association with Phantom Four Films

  • Tom Horton, Series VFX Supervisor/Producer
  • Nicky Walsh, Visual Effects On-set Supervisor
  • Paul Simpson, VFX Supervisor
  • Gavin Gregory, VFX Producer
  • Simon A. Mills, VFX Production Manager
  • Louis Dunlevy, 3D Lead
  • Paul Round, 2D Lead
  • Stefan Susemihl, 2D Lead
  • Alex Snookes, 2D Artist

Hawaii Five-0 • “Ho’onani Makuakane” • CBS • Kurtzman Orsi Paper Products, 101st Street Television, CBS Productions

  • Armen V. Kevorkian, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Alexander G. Soltes, Visual Effects Producer
  • John Hartigan, Special Effects Coordinator
  • Jane Sharvina, 2D Supervisor
  • Rick Ramirez, 3D Supervisor
  • Dan Lopez, 3D Lead Artist
  • Steve Graves, 3D Artist
  • Andranik Taranyan, Lead Compositing Artist
  • Chad Schott, Compositing Artist

Mob City • “A Guy Walks Into a Bar” • TNT • TNT Originals

  • Jason Maxwell Sperling, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Richard E. Cordobes, Special Effects Supervisor
  • Michael Joseph Morreale, Visual Effects Producer
  • Michael Enriquez, Lead 3D Artist
  • Valeri Ann Pfahning, Lead 2D Artist
  • William L. Arance, 3D Artist
  • Megan Ellen Omi, 2D Artist
  • Diego Galtieri, 2D Artist
  • Franco Leng, 2D Artist

Vikings • “Invasion” • HISTORY • An Octagon and Take 5 production in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for History

  • Dominic Remane, Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Dennis Berardi, Senior Visual Effects Producer
  • Michael Borrett, Visual Effects Producer
  • Bill Halliday, Visual Effects Producer
  • Ovidiu Cinazan, Lead Compositor
  • Jim Maxwell, Lead Matte Painter

The Walking Dead • “30 Days Without An Accident” • AMC • AMC Productions

  • Victor Scalise, VFX Supervisor
  • Darrell Dean Pritchett, Special FX Supervisor
  • Matt Robken, VFX Producer
  • Gary Romey, VFX Coordinator
  • Martin Hilke, Lead 2D Artist
  • Diego Galtieri, Senior 2D Artist
  • Michael Cook, Lead CG Artist
  • William L. Arance, Senior CG Artist
  • Dylen Velasquez, 2D Artist

Congratulations to all the nominees!

The 2014 Emmy Awards will be presented in a Creative Arts set for Aug. 16 at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live. The Primetime Emmys will be presented Aug. 25 also at the Nokia Theatre.

DC Comics Special II: Villains in Paradise

DC Comics Special II: Villains in Paradise

Animation Magazine

Benefit Exhibits ‘Robot Chicken,’ DC Artwork

Robot-Chicken-DC-Comics-Special-II-Villains-in-Paradise-150

Robot Chicken and iam8bit studios have teamed up for the third consecutive year with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios for the Robot Chicken Art Show, this time highlighting the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special II: Villains in Paradise.

Artists from Robot Chicken and DC Entertainment (plus special guests) will display their work with all proceeds benefiting OPCC’s Turning Point, an interim housing program that tailors services to the needs of homeless individuals to rebuild their lives and end their homelessness for good.

Robot Chicken uses stop-motion animation to bring pop-culture parodies to life in a modern take on the variety/sketch show format. The Emmy-winning series began airing in February 2005 and remains among the top-rated original series on Adult Swim.

Robot Chicken is created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, who also serve as executive producers, along with their Stoopid Buddy Stoodios partners, John Harvatine IV and Eric Towner. Green and Senreich also write, voice and, with Zeb Wells, direct the multiple Annie Award-winning series.

“I have seen some of the pieces and the amount of work that is going into the art is phenomenal,” says Robot Chicken production manager Laura Allen. “We have 60-plus artists who are submitting art and I know it will be a great event for a great charity. We are all very excited to be a part of this fun event.”

The staff of Robot Chicken and DC Entertainment will exhibit their work at iam8bit studios in Echo Park at 2147 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026. The exhibit will be Friday, March 28, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. All proceeds from the show will benefit OPCC’s Turning Point. The exhibit will preview and celebrate the April 6 premiere of the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special II: Villains in Paradise.

Robot Chicken DC Comics Art Show

Robot Chicken DC Comics Art Show

Animation Magazine