For the first assignment, we have to develop an idea for a project that involves Automata.

  • Two quick studies that explore some facet of the design, experience or concept. Can be any materials or methods including software, models, mechanism mockup, etc.
  • At least one physical studies.

Because I’m still dizzy in the post-era of Maker Faire, I don’t have the whole picture about what I want to do with Automata, but I know I’m also fascinated by chain reaction, parts triggering parts sequentially in a strange and unexpected way, and I’d love to try out Whirligigs!

The idea of the project is “after finding out what your decision did to yourself and bearing all the consequences, you will be less mad about yourself from watching yourself being punished“, aka Salvation.

For the past two months, I felt I was running along the edge of the cliff. Holding all the stuff and running forward clumsily, and the deadline just kept poking me behind. And sometime it made me want to kill myself(METAPHORICALLY). And this whirligig of artist Ben Thal somehow has the healing effect on me.

I love this kind of simple movement repeat again and again and again, and it allows me to stare at it tirelessly and helps me to clear up my mind, especially the self-destruction genre.

And my first design for this concept is Stab My Face.

stab my face


Stabbing My Face

It’s also a practice of the amazing Harry T. Brown’s 507 Mechanical Movements #157. I chose it because it has a nice momentum to strike the stab, insteading of constant speed all the time.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 7.20.24 PM



Ideally, it should be driven by motor instead of my clumsy fingers, and they all should be well designed and fabricated instead of taping everything on top of the shop table.

And my second design for this concept is Pull the Guts Out.

pull the guts out

It’s an automata that keeps pulling out the guts. The guts only moves when arm moves downward.

Using the same gear setup #157, girl’s arm rotates up and down. And once the arm goes down, the stick connected to it pushes the gear with teeth rotate counterclockwise, and then drag the softmateral guts rotate counterclockwise too. The tricky part is, I’m not sure about the movement when arm moves upward. Ideally the gear would just have little movement when arm moves up because of the teeth.