Make365 - Cardboard Automaton


Back in 2011, I came across Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life, a book that was recommended to me via the afterword in the children's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Ever since then I've had this keen interest in the world of automaton and have always had this dream of working on my own. Getting updates from Dug North's blog also helped me get my keister in gear.


Since I don't have a workshop with wood cutting tools, I figured using cardboard would be a great way to attempt the most simple of crank automaton mechanisms without spending money on wood and messing it up.


It was also useful to have Sadie around to help.


This is based on looking at other people's automata and guessing how it should work. It seems like it should work. What this will allow is to get something to move up and down. The first idea I had is to make a piranha plant from Super Mario Brothers. What I also learned from all of this is that cardboard done in this scale is extremely flimsy. Cardboard is readily available though. The next thing I want to do is figure out how to standardize a pattern for this crank automaton at this scale with cardboard.

507 Mechanical Movements: Mechanisms and Devices (Dover Science Books) is probably the next book I'll pick up to get more ideas on how to create specific movements and good guide to tried and true methods on how to make things work in the most optimal way possible.

If this post seems a bit spacey, it's because Tosh.0 is on. One of my favorite pieces of Dug North's is Mekanikos vs. the Minotaur.