Follow us on


Your robot friend.

Have you ever wanted to create your own robotic friend? Fritz is just that, an animatronic puppet meant for you!

Fritz is an animatronic puppet that is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller. Fritz was created to provide an inexpensive introduction into robotics that is both entertaining, creative and educational. With an open source directive, Fritz is accompanied by a PC application to provide you with an easy to use interface in customizing and interacting with the project mechanics.


How does Fritz work?

Fritz is controlled by the very popular Arduino style of microcontrollers. This microcontroller will send the appropriate signals to all 13 (advanced version) servos to move them in the appropriate way. Because of the Arduino's flexibility, sequences (groups of movements) can be stored for playback on the Arduino or received via a USB cable from a PC computer. The trick is to know which servo, how much and when to move it to create an interesting and entertaining sequence.

The Arduino board can be powered by a battery pack or an external power supply. While the Arduino itself can be powered directly from the PC, once enough servos are activated the maximum draw on a USB bus will be exceeded and cause a reset (on most PCs the USB power is limited to 500mA).

Fritz is made from laser cut MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) that provides strength but is also lightweight to allow low torque servos to move the appropriate parts. The use of laser cut MDF also allows parts to be replaced (such as the face plate) with other materials such as acrylic or ABS.

What does Fritz do?

Fritz is capable of displaying many expressions and reenacting them in a sequence that you can put together. Fritz can also generate synthetic speech and sync his mouth movements to that speech. If you'd prefer to use your own voice, Fritz can also mimic your mouth movements to pretend your voice is his.

For the coordinated, you can also use a Joystick or keyboard to create dynamic expressions and movements that give you total live control over Fritz. This is a great tool to create interactive movements with the rest of your family.

By adding your own creative touch, you can dress Fritz to your own liking for those holiday seasons that need a helping hand to say hello to the trick-or-treaters or to add that extra ho,ho,ho to the season!

Was Fritz born overnight?

No, Fritz was created over the last 6 months starting with a simple idea of creating an interactive robotic head that can be controlled and enhanced by people like you. We've been through many iterations of Fritz tweaking the design to favor ease of assembly while retaining as much expressiveness as possible. But we're not stopping here as Fritz will continue to evolve as we receive feedback from users.

Can my kids use Fritz?

Yes! Fritz is a great introduction to robotics and provides an incremental approach for kids. Rather than requiring knowledge of a low level programming language, kids can become familiar with Fritz and a servo controlled robot very quickly using the interactive capabilities of the desktop application. They can use a joystick or keyboard keys to control Fritz. Once they get comfortable with the basic movements and animation potential they can continue advancing to recording movements and editing those movements. From creating scripted animations one can then move onto direct programming of Fritz using the provided programming interface.

How do I control Fritz?

Fritz comes with an open source desktop application currently written in CSharp for the Windows platform. The application communicates to Fritz over a USB connection to the Arduino board. There are several features that are unique to Fritz not found in other servo control applications:

  • Drag and Drop - You can control Fritz using drag and drop interface that represents Fritz. There is no need to hunt for the appropriate servo and guess at what the right value should be. Just grab that part of Fritz's face, drag it to the appropriate location (Fritz will react while you are doing this) and release to add that as part of the sequence.
  • Audio and Motion editor - Not only can you create custom facial expressions, all of this can be done over an audio channel to help synchronize Fritz's movement to audio tunes, spoken words, etc. You can even edit the audio by silencing areas or inserting audio to add more tunes.
  • Text to Speech - The Fritz Controller can add spoken text as the audio background for motion sequences. The advantage to this process is that the appropriate visemes (visual mouth movements) are added automatically into the sequence. Its an easy way to get the appropriate mouth movements based on text. The Fritz Controller can use many synthetic voices such as those distributed by Microsoft or much better sounding voices from sites like NextUp which includes Ray from AT&T Natural Voices that we use during demonstrations. Note that voices can be tested before purchase and range from $20 to $40 a voice.
  • Interactive Control - The Fritz Controller provides control of Fritz's servo motors using a joystick or keyboard control. While using the mouse can provide precise and accurate control over Fritz's movement, using a joystick can create the most lifelike movements and is very helpful in exploring the range of Fritz's movement. Even if your joystick is different than ours, the application provides a way to map different sticks and keys to different servos. You can customize your interface to exactly how you like it.

Fritz costume changes?

Because Fritz is an open platform, you can customize and dress Fritz in any way you see fit. Fritz is a great base platform that can be customized to help celebrate the season. In addition, its easy to personalize Fritz in many different ways to suit your likes. You can add all sorts of makeup, jewelry, and facial hair to create a unique Fritz!

What Can You Do With Fritz!

Remote Control Toy

Use a joystick or the keyboard to control Fritz and explore the expressiveness of what is possible with 13 degrees of movement!


Looking for that unique decoration that your neighbor will not have? Fritz can be customized to add to your decorations and provide entertainment for all your guests.

Educational Tool

Bored of teaching how to program yet another little car that your kids just can't relate to? Try introducing Fritz to your kids along with the editing tools and see what they can create.

A Modern Day Ventriloquist

Try out your coordination and see if you can create an act that includes Fritz. No recording though! You have to do this one live!

A Maker's Delight

Fritz is built on the Arduino platform that can be extended with sensors, lights, or perhaps moveable ears??

Create a robot contest

Set the kids out to create a full skit with audio and vocal elements. Have them pick a joke and get Fritz to effectively tell the joke to an audience. Or have them dance Fritz to their favorite sound track.

A New Information Display

Think of Fritz as a 3D screen. Using each facial feature you can communication information in unique ways. A happy face can mean the temperature is high or its sunny outside. Eyebrows raised can mean you have a new email.

Create a receptionist

Do you work for a technology company? Wouldn't it be cool to have Fritz welcome visitors into your space? It's a great way to break the ice and show how technologically advanced your office is!

Do a presentation for you

Tired of giving the same presentation to a bunch of folks that just aren't listening? Well, Fritz can be a great way to really stir things up and provide an entertaining twist on what is otherwise a dull meeting.

Recite Historical Moments

Are your kids just not into history? Have them chose some choice words from the past and have Fritz act out the speech! One small step for man, one giant ....?

Entertain Your Pets

Are your pets getting bored during the day while you are not around? Use Fritz to keep them satisfied that a humanoid is still around!

Just have fun

Seriously, it's a robot head ... how cool is THAT!

What Are People Saying About Fritz? Fritz .. achieves an excellent interpretation of human facial expressions using only 13 motions.

Engadget XYZbot's Fritz offers a cheaper robot head, free trips to the uncanny valley.

the Slanted Fritz is an amazing robotic puppet that needs your support, and your creativity

Fritz was also mentioned on The Huffington Post.

Signup For Newsletter/Promotions/Deals:
© 2014 XYZbot. All Rights Reserved.