Saturday, July 31, 2004

Making Automata


This summer, the Exploratorium hosted an exhibit called Cabaret Mechanical Theater, a collection of automata. Automata are mechanical toys. A hand crank or motor turns gears, moves levers, and makes cams turn on shafts, causing figures to move and tell whimsical stories. Here I am working on my little rabbit automaton. When you turn the crank, it causes the lower piece of black foam (called a cam, if I remember correctly) to turn. The upper piece of foam rides on the cam. Depending on the shape of the cam, the rabbit could move in different ways - up and down, in circles, etc. Mine hops up and down while turning.  Posted by Hello

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