Automata Rhinos? They're off!
The Rhinos are finally off and running. With crops in hand the two jockeys ride their beasts toward the finish. The only question is who will win. The two entrants are Lumber Along and Dainty Dancer, names modelled after the way thoroughbred horses seem to be named. At this point Dainty Dancer has a slight lead.
All that remains is to finish the handle and make a video and I can Post a webpage.
Here in Ontario, the Board of Education occasionally has professional development (PD) days for teachers. This also means that students do not attend school on these days. So this Grampa and Gramma took the two grandsons to the Safari Game Park about 1 hour west of Toronto. As luck would have it I could get up close to a couple of Rhinos to research finishing touches for the Rhinoceros Racing automata. These girls are little more than 15 feet from my seat on the Safari Park Bus! Lots of fun and very interesting.
Automata Rhinos Getting on Track
Spent the weekend throwing together the mechanism for the racing rhinos. As you can see I still need a handle (designed but not made yet). I chose the open look for the mechanism again thinking that it gave a racetrack stadium feel to the project. The tracking railings are up and soon there will be racing.
I've done some painting on the jockeys and rhinos. You can see I chose jockeys and blankets matching. I need to finish up the rear competitors and possibly add some shading to the rhinos. The dowels are among the last thing to do as the legs trap the bounding mechanism in place, and until I finish the rhino detailing I will hold off for a while.
Anyway things always take longer than [lanned and the continued nice weather makes it hard to lock oneself in the shop for too long! I think I will search for beady little black rhino eyes.
Automata Ghostly Images....
Well not real ghosts. The racing Rhinos have taken on a ghostly appearance, since I treated them with a white addable sealer during the finishing process. So here's yet another look, this time ghostly, at he rhinos and their two jockeys. They are sporting a little grey at the time of this note but we'll save that for the next post.
A couple of dilemmas, or Dalai Llamas, as a friend used to say. The possible selection for the colour of the jockey shirts are endless. Should they match the blanket on the rhino? Should the blankets on the rhinos match and the shirts be different? Diamonds, squares, stripes or solids? How many colours? I'll need to decide soon.
And then there are names for the rhino. Some horse names are out here. Things like "She's a Lady" , "Glue Pot", or "Running on Empty". Another decision pending I guess.
Anyway I found the leather I need for bridles, saddles and reins this week. I don't usually add bits that are not wood or brass in my projects, But I thought real bridles might add to the comic appearance.
Automata Rhinos in Motion.
I built a little test stand to work on the mechanism that will impart movement to the rhinos. This version might be a little large on the amplitude side, so I might try an alteration tomorrow. Given the right amount of rocking the jockey might not need to be pushed by the pushrod, although a little lead in his behind might be needed. I also need to increase the motion of his legs.
Here is a video of the version one test of motion of just one rhino.
Automata Rhino Times Two!
Now there are two! Rhino number one has found a new friend. competition for the big race. As always there is still more to do.
Automata Rhino Jockey On Board
After a little coaxing a Rhino Jockey finally appeared from a couple of pieces of basswood today. Here he is trying out his ride. The rhino has a blanket now, sporting number 6. Soon the detail on his hands to hold the reins, some paint, and a little leather will begin to complete the picture. Of course there is another jockey to find! Maybe tomorrow.
Automata Rhinos Paired for Life!
The first Racing Rhino has now acquired a new friend. Both still have work to be done on them but here is the lovely couple! Not sure of the names yet but one might become Roxy. They will soon begin training for the Serengeti Sweepstakes, the biggest racing event held in continental Africa!
Nice misty morning in the Kawartha Lakes and I'm off to help setup the venue for the Kawartha Carving Competition. Conquergood Creative will be showing there, so my trailer full of goodies is off and running!
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.