My next automata project is in the prototype and early production stages. It is a rat who pulls coins into a manhole. The concept is not unlike the cast iron mechanical banks of older days.
My little friend will lift the manhole cover from below, glance side to side, then reach up and pull any coin left in the "magic spot". The manhole is 8" in diameter, and the rat is about 6" long from the nose to the back of the head. This early prototype had no body, and was built to help position the eyes show that upper and lower eyelids could be added.
In a production version, here is a roughed-in rat, with eye sockets and a cavity cut in the top of the head to install the eye mechanism. The final base structure will be much deeper since it will contain all the mechanism underneath to actuate my little friend.
Automata is a creative blend of my life interests , engineering, art and woodworking.