Automaton: Sisyphus in Training

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.

More about Automaton: Sisyphus in Training



More on our Designing Automata Kit

Back-to-School Sale – 10% off every order, free Maker’s Notebook with every order of $25 or more.

Use code CRZYDAN for the discount, the Maker’s notebook will be added automatically. Ends 9/30/08 midnight PST

4 thoughts on “Automaton: Sisyphus in Training

  1. Dave Johnson says:

    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

    Thanks again

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      I’ll let the drywall screw thing slide since it’s such a great piece!

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!