Here is four of a possible five characters from a project I am currently working on. I haven't designed the mechanism yet but I know what is needed to do to make all these herring gulls go through their motions. Of course it remains a work in progress. The two in the back will not have their heads lowered into position until all the painting is done and you may have noticed that nobody has any feet yet. The legs will eventually mount down into a top plate for stability and the feet will be also attached to the top plate, although the legs will pass through them. They will be made separately. For now these guys just stand around on a piece of scrap watching me work. I told them if they stayed quiet i would bring them some fish later. They are so gullable!
I am trying to keep the size of this piece fairly small and hopefully it will appear a little "busy", suitable for the subject matter. Without giving away the story yet, I will say that the two gulls in the front will tip down to the ground and back up repeatedly. These two inspired the addition of a new course in the Learning Centre called "Automata Design, From Idea - To Proof of Concept - To Prototype". It is a 20 minute video course showing the process that I sometimes use to prove to myself that a crazy idea I may have can be tested out before commencing a detailed project design. These two guys are the example in the course.
Anyway a fifth seagull who "lunges" is in my mind to complete the crowd above so I need to set my brain to work tonight to come up with its design!
Be safe out there, Al
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.