Craft & Design
Automaton: Sisyphus in Training


I love automatons, and this one is no exception. Check out the worm gear at 0:17, not bad for a first attempt at automata. Don’t miss the link to the flickr photo set of the build. The concept illustrations are great!

This is my first humble attempt at an automata, constructed mostly from a piece of nice plywood, along with dowels, sticks, brass tubing, wire, lead, and glue. My primary tools were a band saw, a hand drill, and a disc sander.

The finished product is referred to as The Little Man around the house, though the official title is Sisyphus in Training. Since these crank-operated automata inherently cycle through their action, I liked the idea of a task that’s never finished, like Sisyphus and his stone.

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4 thoughts on “Automaton: Sisyphus in Training

  1. Thanks for the plug! Glad you enjoyed my little toy. I just noticed today the spike in views of the video, and tracked it back here.

    FYI, the worm screw is the one manufactured part that I used: it’s a section of a plastic drywall anchor. It was simply too perfect to pass up.

    The video is very much in the style of Arthur Ganson, a kinetic sculptor who’s a hero to me. See arthurganson.com

    Thanks again

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