The Story of "Cirque de Poulet" Automata.
I was surfing the internet a few years back and saw a simple automata of a man reading a unicycle. I found it very appealing and stored it away in my memory bank as possible project. Upon finishing a project I though about what to do next and the little man came to mind. I needed a catch. Thinking circus I though of Cirque du Soleil and something unusual riding the unicycle. So it ended up being a chicken and called "Cirque de Poulet" homage to the Cirque Du Soleil circus group. As it turns out there are lots of unicycle automata to be found on the internet, so this is is far from an original work.
A far as automata go it is not particularly difficult to make. The most challenging parts ar the right angle drive gear and the unicycle itself. I added a couple of acrobatic chicks to round out the piece,
One of the other features is the brass rod that extends from the centre post to the body of the chicken. It has to be attached solidly. If it isn't then the chicken tries to do cartwheels as it rotates on the rod! I use CA glue to secure the rod in place but I don't trust it over the longer term, so on the outer end of the rod I hollow a little slot into the chicken body and solder a brass pin across the end of the rod. I then epoxy fill the body, sand it and paint it. Now there is no way for the chicken to rotate on the rod.
Automata - "Cirque de Poulet" Video
The "Cirque de Poulet" Photo Gallery
Varoius photos from along the way!