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Bot! is a computer animated Video On Demand (VOD) series created especially for the interests and needs of children with autism.
The story centers on Bot, a young robot who has crash landed on a strange planet, a planet much like Earth. It is a world inhabited by motorized vehicles with personalities as diverse as their vehicle type: steam trains, 18-wheelers, construction trucks, tractors, school buses, garbage trucks, some silly, some cantankerous—but all are fun!
Bot can fix anything with Tool Bot, a peppy and friendly pet-like flying android. Why is he called Tool Bot? Out of his main compartment springs a change-o mechanism which transforms into a limitless possibility of tools. Trucks, trains, and buses do break down after all.
Together Bot and Tool Bot have many adventures and misadventures on their new planet.

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THE WHO, HOW, AND WHY BEHIND BOT!

ONE MAN, 5 COMPUTERS AND AN IDEA.

Why?

My son is autistic, that simple. He is older now but I do remember the frustrating days when he was a young boy and the struggle to keep him engaged and occupied–there really wasn’t much entertainment specifically for him. The mainstream animated films & television shows were often too busy and loud and often times over stimulating. Like many autistic children my son was keenly interested in Thomas the Tank Engine and the idea seemed to evolve from analyzing why that was.

Audience?

Bot! is a computer animated show for all children, however it contains specific details for children with autism. These are some facts we discovered during the development of Bot!:

Children with autism are often attracted to objects arranged in lines (like cars on a train), as well as spinning objects and wheels. Trains, for example, help Autistic children to make sense of their fascination with lines– they give the behavior an intent and a purpose.

To an autistic child, the inner-workings of machines, and their role in the grown-up world, are endlessly fascinating.

Children with autism usually enjoy specific and relatively narrow points of interest. Trains and other vehicles are a fairly narrow topic, but there is much to discover within the educational category. A child with autism can spend days, weeks, months, or even years discovering specific details about vehicles. For example, they enjoy memorizing the order of train cars– the engine first, the caboose last.

Calmer, more soothing environments. Many autistic children cannot bear noisy restaurants or movie theaters.

How?

For me it was simple-grab Cinema 4D (an industry leading 3D animating software) and dig in. The learning curve has been steep and over the last few months I’ve had to add more computers in order to decrease render times. What is render time? Let’s put it this way; Once the scene has been built the computer must render each frame (and there are 30 frames in each second of animation)…some frames can take up to 3 hours to render…

Some Fun Facts about Bot!

1680
RENDER HOURS TO DATE

2489
MAN HOURS INVESTED

5
NUMBER OF COMPUTERS USED TO DATE

31034
FRAMES RENDERED TO DATE

I’m starting to see a lot of me in Bot–clumsy, dorky, a little goofy, but serious.

-- Tod Ryan --

 

BOT! PRODUCER

MEET THE PRODUCER WHO CREATED BOT!

TOD RYAN

Founder/Lead Animator

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TOD RYAN

CONTACT US!

TOD@botshow.org

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States