Close Encounters of the T-Rex Kind

Fun & Games Robotics
Close Encounters of the T-Rex Kind

Maker Faire Bay Area brings in makers from around the world, like 15 year-old Gabriel Diaz Yanten who is coming all the way from Chile along with his animatronic dinosaur puppet, Anacleto. Anacelto is a 12.8 feet tall and 8.2 feet long T-Rex that Gabriel designed and built with the help of his uncle, a mechanic. Gabriel is also a paleo illustrator, a member of the paleontological society of Chile, and has worked as a guide in the Disney Channel Animatronic Exposition. I was able to ask Gabriel some questions over email, and I look forward to seeing him and Anacleto stomping around Maker Faire in less than two week! You can help support his journey here: Gabriel on IdeaMe

Gabriel with Anacleto (left) and Gabriel's dino illustrations (right)
Gabriel with Anacleto (left) and Gabriel’s dino illustrations (right)

Tell me a bit about yourself and your background.

I live with my parents and my older sister, and I study in San Antonio School in Santiago, Chile. I have liked paleontology since I was 3 years old.

Why did you decide to make Anacleto, the T-Rex puppet?

In 2008 I saw a video of Walking with Dinosaurs, and I saw this giant dinos similar to Anacleto. Since then I had this dream and in 2011 I started to create the blueprints to make this dream come true.

Anacleto in motion (left) and with frame exposed (right)
Anacleto in motion (left) and with frame exposed (right)

What was the most fun part of the project? The most challenging? The most surprising?

I think that the most fun part was after I finished it. :) The most difficult part was the tail and the leg movements. I think that the most surprising was seeing the whole structure functioning and, of course, the reaction of the people.

How did you get involved with the Makerspace in Santiago?

I heard about it from some friends in the Chilean Paleontology Society. They recommended I visit the STGO Makerspace. I went there with my aunt to find a space to work and when they saw the T-Rex, they gave me a free membership.

The framework
The framework

What are you looking forward to doing and seeing at the Bay Area Faire?

It will be my first trip to the U.S. and my first Maker Faire so I’m completely open to it. I hope to improve my English, visit the Bay Area museums, and have a good time.

YouTube player
Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I am a technology researcher and designer; a Steampunk prop maker and costumer; a writer of both academic papers and blog posts; a voracious reader/watcher of science fiction. I am currently contributing to MAKE by writing about the Maker Faire. You can contact me via

View more articles by Karen Tanenbaum
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).