Automata refers to the devices that are self-propelling or a machine that appears to imitate spontaneously the motions of men, birds, or other animals. These devices have been in use for quite some time by now. The construction of both models and prototypes of these devices is…
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Automata can be described as whimsical themed or mechanical device that is constructed to act as if by its own power. Sometimes they are referred to as mechanical toys or kinetic art.
Automata are marvelous machines that use most of the mechanical processes which can be found in almost every modern machine. They are powered through the use of a hand crank that turns a drive shaft which may include cranks, cams, cam followers, ratchets, levers, linkages, pushrods or gears. These mechanical systems are used in power transmission to transmit the input of rotary motion into outputs of linear, rotary, reciprocal or oscillatory motion. All these combined inputs and outputs lead to a cause and effect relationship that is used to make the automaton to move.
In modern times, the design and creation of automata is related to the same principle mechanics involved with the design of robotics. The relationships in the input and output motions is critical to the designer. The automata, as researched and done by Paul Spooner and as displayed in the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, shows that from as early as 1960s, the idea of automata has been in existence and has been improved since then.
The period 1860 to 1910 is known as the golden age of automata. During this period many small family based companies of Automata makers thrived. Contemporary automata continue in the footsteps of the earlier inventors rather than technological sophistication. These contemporary automata are represented by the works of the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre in U.K, Dug North and Chomick in the U.S. some mechanized toys developed during the 18th and 19th centuries are automata made with paper. Despite the relative simplicity of material. Paper automata require a high degree of technical
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