I took some time this week to design and knock together a demonstration piece for the Tech Art Fair next week. Often when I'm at shows people are interested how the inner works make thing move but they are usually hidden deep in the piece and hard to see. I made a "Watchchamacallit" which really doesn't do much but lets you explore how motion is translated from the handle to move an object through gears, a cam, a follower, a wire link, and a pivot bar. So in this case this demo piece waves a hand when you turn the crank. It is robust enough I can let youngsters operate it. It is a chance to discuss gear ratios, lever arms, and cam shapes with visitors. I will likely post a plan for this on my site for anyone who would just like to try their hand at building an automata mechanism.
Anyway, here it is, front side, rear view and a photo of preassembled parts.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.