1. Investigating Mechanisms


 Design Problem & Brief

You are required to design and make an automaton using a variety of the workshop tools, machines and equipment.

Your Automata will need to:

  1. Be visually stimulating,
  2. Captivate and intrigue the viewers,
  3. Have a minimum of 3 mechanical mechanisms


Your research needs to focus on two main areas -  Mechanical Mechanisms & Existing Automata (see below for details).

Task 1: Mechanisms Research

Download and complete the gaps in this document: Mechanical Mechanisms Research - Use a software of your choice, it can be presented as a slideshow, spreadsheet, written document, etc.

Where to find information:

Task 2: Existing Automata

Use the internet to search for a range of mechanical toys/automata that appeal to you. Your research must:

  1. Have a minimum of 12 sample images of existing automata
  2. make note of input & output motions produced by each automata,
  3. Attempt to identify which mechanisms were used to produce the movement.
  4. Have a brief description of what the automata does and why it appeals to you.

Good websites to start your search are http://www.cabaret.co.uk/store/automata/, and http://www.youtube.com/user/CabaretMechTheatre and also by searching for automata on YouTube

Task 3: Classroom Quiz

Using what you have learned while completing task 1 & 2, I will talk more about these mechanisms in more detail during class and how to apply these to your own designs. Once I feel that you have all got a solid grasp of this theory you will take a quiz to assess your knowledge and understanding of this.