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Building Automata

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Cardboard Automata. Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers. Perhaps the most famous automaton, the fabled Turk, ended up being a clever hoax, not a true automaton.

Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers

To see an honest historical automaton, one needs to visit the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, where Maillardet’s Automaton is displayed. This automaton, built around 1800, is a masterpiece, able to write three poems and draw four drawings! Our first cardboard automaton will be less ambitious than Maillardet’s Automaton but more real than The Turk. Building automata is a great engineering challenge that scales from child maker to adult in its complexity.

It varies in the types of materials from which it is built and the story the automaton tells through the machinery’s movements. Anyone interested in building automata should start by reading The Exploratorium’s helpful PDF on the subject. Want to see more? Googly Monster Kinetic Sculpture. Welcome to K is for Kinetics!

Googly Monster Kinetic Sculpture

As part of this month’s A-Z STEM blog series, we created Googly Monster Kinetic Sculptures. They combine engineering with a bit of art to make a fun, movable puppet show. Plus, they’re a great way to teach about kinetics, the study of forces acting on mechanisms. This post contains affiliate links. What are Kinetic Sculptures and How Do They Work? Kinetic sculptures are art that rely upon perceivable motion to create an effect. Today’s project uses mechanics to give motion to a static object and is of the automata style of kinetic sculpture. We used recycled materials like cardboard and chopsticks to create the parts in the sculpture. Kinetic Sculpture Inspiration This post was inspired by our visit to San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

Click here to find all about the museum’s cardboard adventures, which are absolutely amazing! Make Your Own Googly Monster Kinetic Sculpture Supplies needed: Build Your Googly Monster Kinetic Sculpture Make your chop stick holes: Robot Automaton. Robot Rally | Robot Automaton')"> My 6-year-old has always been fascinated by how things work, so I knew I had to try out this cardboard automaton with him.

Robot Automaton

I love that it’s a fun way for him to play with simple machines; and it also creates a really cool art piece! To build your own automaton, you’ll need: Cardboard box (like your Kiwi Crate box) Scissors or craft knife (for grown-up use only!) Wooden skewers Drinking straw Drinking glass or other round object (for tracing a circle) Masking tape or scotch tape Decorative materials such as pipe cleaners, stiff paper, and markers Optional materials: Hot glue gun Rubber band The first step is to cut the top off the box. I traced around a drinking glass, and then cut out 4 cardboard circles. Next, the axle! Next step is positioning the skewer/axle in the box.

Now for the second cam and the linkage where the two cams meet. The only trick here is to make sure the cams don’t touch the back side of the box. Toys from Trash. Cranky Crank Do it details.

Toys from Trash

Minecraft Paper Machine. I guess Minecraft is popular.

Minecraft Paper Machine

Over 14 billion copies have been sold, meaning that every single person on the earth bought the game twice, and those are statistics that are completely made up by me. Nevertheless, Minecraft seemed to be very well suitable for papercraft, and not only that, it is the most searched keyword in the combination with papercraft on the whole internet and it even makes the people craft their Steves in iPhone apps (That was kind of sad, because my 2 papercraft apps have been dislodged). First I was like meh, because the whole progress in papercraft history, the implementation of curves, the reduction of flaps, everything thrown away for pixely block heads, the absolute beginning of simplest paper works? Then I was like yea whatever, because it makes people craft and maybe they want to dig deeper. So I gave in after a few months of Minecraft invading the papercraft sector and made a Minecraft Paper Machine. Piloting_Step.