Automata Project

What Will I be Learning?

You will be learning to follow and use the 6 stages of the design cycle to design and manufacture an 'Automata' (Mechanical toy). In this project you will learn about a wide range of mechanical mechanisms, their functions/purposes and their input/output motions. You will also learn how to apply the experience you gained from the previous project, as well as your research into mechanical mechanisms and existing automata in order to design your own automata.

Learning Goals:

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Identify the characteristics of the following mechanical mechanisms:

  • CAMS (Drop, Pear, Eccentric, Irregular/bespoke),
  • FOLLOWERS,
  • LINKAGES,
  • LEVERS (1st, 2nd & 3rd class),
  • GEARS (ratios & bevel gears),
  • PULLEYS,

2. Understand how mechanical mechanisms (researched earlier) can be combined to produce the movement of the characters in automata and other real world products,

3. Apply their knowledge of mechanical mechanisms to design 4 original ideas for an automata of their own that fulfills the design brief,

4. Develop their initial design ideas into one final design drawing that is realistic and likely to function correctly,

5. Identify and name the characteristics of a butt and finger joint,

6. Produce a cutting list for their final design,

7. Cut high quality, tight fitting finger joints,

8. Manufacture the mechanisms that go inside the casing of their automata,

9. Manufacture the characters/subject of their automata and connect them with their mechanisms,

10. Select and apply a finish that is most appropriate for their automata,

11. Test and evaluate their end product.

How will I know what I have learnt?

You will have submitted work for each of the 6 stages in the Design Cycle. Please see this document for when each stage ends and the next begins.

By the end of the project you should have made an automata that uses a minimum of 3 mechanical mechanisms.

How will I be Learning?

This document outlines the sequence of activities that you will follow for the whole year. You will be learning by producing a design portfolio and also by getting 'hands on', practical experience of using the tools and machines to manufacture the product that you design.

What Resources will I need to support my learning?

All of the resources that you need are provided for you. Just turn up to class with a pair of shoes that cover your feet completely, a fresh and open mind and be ready to be creative and have fun. Links to any online resources will be provided on the assignment page of this website.