What makes automata characters different than carvings is that the mechanism must often be built into the figures. This requires that some mechanism components need to be installed as the characters are constructed. Key holes, surfaces and pivot points are best installed while the character still has flat, square surfaces. This is the case in my current project.
This frog will have moving eyes and blinking eyelids, and a moving lower lip. The eye mechanisms will be installed before the top block is attached for final shaping of the body. In this way the mechanism can be installed and tested from the open top.
The centre of the body is hollowed out to allow the linkages to connect to the actuating mechanism that will be installed below. This next photo was taken during the process, after removing some material will some forsner bits, but before final shaping with a Dremel tool. The two recesses on the top are where the eyeballs fit in.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.