automata

Electronic Automata

Electronic Automata

Servo Programmer

To program our electronic, servo controlled automata we use two software applications: Visual Show Automation (VSA) by Brookshire Software and TrackSkull by MonkeyBasic, both rely on visual approach to animatronics rather than having to input code to program the servo movements.

Hand-crank automaton - Part III: Monkey Evolution

Hand-crank automaton - Part III: Monkey Evolution

The final step is designing clothing that will not restrict the movement of the Automaton. Chris and I have to work very closely together at this stage, to make sure the automaton figure will retain the desired movement. Sometimes it may be necessary for the clothing to dampen (confine) certain motions.

Making a miniature automaton - Part I

Making a miniature automaton - Part I

The balance mechanism
The initial experiment was to see how to get the most motion out of the simplest puppet; in reality, automata design begins with a puppet that is controlled invisibly through internal cables, levers or wires. If you have seen photographs of the inner workings of antique automata you know they can be very complicated, the idea here was to make a simple balanced armature that would be robust, trouble-free, and most important, move naturally.