Sunday, April 18, 2010

Designing Automata Kit available from Amazon

OK...it may be a round-about route, but it is good news in the end: the Designing Automata Kit is now available via Amazon!

From the product description:
"The New Designing Automata Kit is great value and fantastic quality. No glue or tools are required, and you will learn about simple mechanics using cams and a crank slider mechanism. Many different designs can be made, and the kit used over and over again. Produced in Thailand using chemical-free rubber wood, from sustainable sources."

Here's the link to the Designing Automata Kit.


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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Timberkits: Drummer wood automaton kit

Here's a little video of the drummer automaton kit made by Timberkits.

Here's one place you can get the Timberkit drummer automaton.


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Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Pie Factory - great paper automaton kit

Check out this amazing paper automaton kit and its delightfully dark humor!

Here is where you can get The Pie Factory automaton kit at Cool4Cats.


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Monday, December 28, 2009

Snap Circuits Extreme 750 with computer interface

Snap Circuits Extreme 750 with computer interface
Snap Circuits Extreme is Elenco's largest set of snap-together circuits featuring 750 experiments -- including 73 computer interface experiments. The kit covers electromagnets, strobe lights, transistor AM Radio, solar power, and vibration switches in addition to all the other experiments included in their smaller kits such as the SC-100, SC-300, and SC-500.

Here's the link to Elenco Electronics Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750


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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Timberkits - wood automata kits make great gifts

Timberkits - wood automaton kits
It's not to late to get the people in your life the gift of automata for the holidays. One nice option are Timberkits -- all wood automata kits featuring a variety of themes and characters. Shown here is their Penguin Wooden Model. All of their kits come with pre-cut parts that need to be pegged together and glued. You can leave it unfinished or add a personal touch by painting it.

Here is a link to a full range of Timberkits Wood Automata Kits


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mario Hammer paper automaton download

Mario Hammer paper automaton download
Another Mario Brother's inspired paper automaton download is available at Nintendo Papercraft. The paper Mario smashes a Goomba with a large hammer.

Here's the page with the Mario Hammer paper automaton kit.

[ Thanks Alan! ]


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Monday, November 23, 2009

Walter Ruffler paper automata at Flying Pig

Flying Pig paper animations has announced the addition of paper automata by Walter Ruffler to their website. There are twenty seven models from which to choose.

Shown at left is Ruffler's model title "Off Road".

Visit this section of the Flying Pig web site for the full line of Walter Ruffler paper automata kits.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wooden mechanical remote-control dinosaurs

Wooden mechanical remote-control dinosaurs
I've seen wood dinosaur models, and even wood dinosaur models with a motor and simple movements. This pair takes it a step further with the addition of a infrared remote control and three different operating modes.

From the model description:
The R/C Wooden Puzzle Dinosaurs go one better and add movement and sound to this classic dinosaur format. First you must assemble of course, but once you've jacked in the included motors and electronics you're ready to rumble. Not only can you control your dino's movements via remote, he (or she) roars and reacts to sound.

Here is the link to these two wooden mechanical dinosaurs with remote control.


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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jensen steam engine model kit

Jensen steam engine model kit
Here's a nice little working model steam engine.

From the product description

Build a real head of live steam in the boiler, ease the throttle open and watch the engine take off. The stationary steam plants have nickel plated brass horizontal boiler, water gauge, whistle, safety valve, throttle, 3" dia flywheel and power takeoff pulley. Our dry pellet fuel model (includes 20 fuel pellets) has a single action horizontal piston engine and comes as a kit. It requires about 2 hours to assemble and mount on its roughly 7" sq base, using simple tools like pliers and screwdriver.

Here the link for this Jensen Steam Engine Model.


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Classic monsters paper automata series

Dracula paper automata kit
Just in time for Halloween, Flying Pig Paper Animation Kits has an entire series of paper automata featuring classic monsters. The series was designed by artist Ng Wing Him.

The paper automata monsters:

Dracula
Frankenstein
Mummy
Wolfman
Reaper


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Friday, October 09, 2009

The Dog Ate My Homework paper automaton

The latest fun paper animation kit from Rob Ives: The Dog Ate My Homework.

Like his other offerings, this model comes as a downloadable file that you print onto thin card-stock with your printer. Once printed, you then cut out the parts and follow the illustrated instructions to make the animated model.

The color version can be purchased now for a modest price. A free, uncolored version will be available on October 20th.

Here's the link for The Dog Ate My Homework paper automaton.


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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reindeer Ride paper automaton kit downloads

Here is the latest paper automaton creation by Rob Ives, called Reindeer Ride. There are two versions of this one. The colored version costs the usual £2.50 GBP (about $4 US dollars). The uncolored version is a completely free download! This could be a great holiday project for you or the kids.

Also, be sure to check out Rob's Workshop Notes blog in its new home of http://www.robives.com/blog. He posts to it most days about the fascinating process of creating paper automata.

Here is where you can get the Reindeer Ride paper animation kits.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Build a paper automaton that can draw a picture!

Perhaps there is a theme this week; take a look at this amazing paper automata kit that draws a little picture on a Post-It Note!

From the kit description:
When the handle is turned the artist looks up at his model, then down at his easel and -amazingly- he starts to draw. Keep turning and you'll be amazed to see that he actually does a real pencil drawing of the model on a 'post-it' note! Although the model of the artist, the lady and all the little accessories (Paints, brushes,etc) are detailed and amusing, the real complexity lies within the case under their feet. The handle operates a 'worm' gear which in turn drives two large cams. One controls the forwards-and-backwards movement of the artist's arm, the other the 'side-to-side' movements. A series of levers transmit the movements and the combination of both actions results in the drawing.

Here's the link to The Artist Automaton kit page.


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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

BotBrain Animatronic Head Kit

BotBrain Animatronic Head Kit
The BotBrain Animatronic Head kit lets you build a fully functioning animatronic head which can turn left and right, move its eyes and eyelids, and change its mouth expressions. Sensors allow the robot to react to changes in the environment.

Here's a link to the BotBrain Animatronic Head


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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Sleek Stirling engine locomobile kit

Here is a very attractive Stirling engine kit. Stirling engines, you may recall, are powered by the expansion and compression of air.

From the engine kit description:
The finished engine is fueled by an alcohol burner that heats the front of the glass tube, causing the air inside to expand and contract and push the piston toward the gears. The piston is connected to a system of flywheels and pulleys that exert reciprocal force on the piston, causing it to move back and forth. The energy produced by the desktop engine can be harnessed to spin the integrated fan, illuminate the attached light bulb, and rotate the rear wheels, propelling the locomobile forward. Assembles in two to three hours.

Here is the link for the The Stirling Engine Locomobile.


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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Scarab beetle robot kit avoids obstacles

Scarab beetle robot kit avoids obstacles
Here's a kit for making a nifty obstacle-avoiding insect-like robot.

From the product description
It comes with two touch sensors that look like insect antennas, and when they detect an obstacle, the Scarab will first step back and then automatically execute a two-step maneuver to avoid the obstacle. The maneuver is a combination of "left turn", "right turn", "reverse" or "stop". The Scarab Robot can be configured with different sets of movements. Easy assembly allows you to learn electronics, robotics and mechanical design. The kit comes complete with 2 sets of differently designed legs, which move in their own distinct way.

Here is the link for the Scarab Beetle Robot Kit


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Monday, August 31, 2009

Too Much Coffee - paper automaton kit

Here is a short video of Rob Ives's latest paper animation kit called "Too Much Coffee". I feel for this guy; I've been there!

Here is the link for purchasing and downloading the files for the Too Much Coffee automaton.


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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Green Science's Amphibian Rover kit

Green Science's Amphibian Rover kit
Create your own motorized amphibious vehicle using 4 recycled plastic bottles and this kit which includes plastic body parts motor, battery case, wheel hubs, paddles, screws, terminal caps, and instructions. You will also need to supply 2 AAA batteries and a small Philips screwdriver.

Here the link for the Amphibian Rover Kit




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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Solar powered rolling ball track kit

Solar powered rolling ball track kit
Here is a simple kit that allows you to make a solar-powered rolling-ball track. Once assembled, provide the little solar panel with some sunlight and the machine will sending the balls cycling around the track.

Here's the link for this kit that is called the Solar Roller Coaster


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Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Crocodile paper automaton kit video

This funny and macabre automaton is available as a kit from the folks at cool4cats.

Here's the page where you can order The Crocodile automaton kit (scroll down to near the bottom of the page).


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Friday, August 21, 2009

Green Science Windmill Generator by Toysmith

Green Science Windmill Generator by Toysmith
I am pleased by the fact that many of the newer mechanical toys have "green" theme. Take this small scale wind generator. The Windmill Generator has a gear motor (which serves as a generator) and 6 inch propeller with a tail. After a bit of assembly you can watch the wind light up its LED bulbs.

From the product description:
How is energy produced by using windmills? Build this amazing wind generator and learn about renewable energy/ "green energy". Watch the LED glow as it is powered by free energy from the wind. No batteries required! Help save the planet by using a recycled plastic bottle to support your wind generator. Ages 8+

Here is the link to the Green Science Windmill Generator


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Monday, August 17, 2009

Dynamo Torch Science Activity Kit

Dynamo Torch Science Activity Kit
Here is a simple generator kit that allows you to power a small LED (AKA "Torch"). Assembly will require one small screwdriver that is not supplied with the kit.

From the product description:
Turn a simple toy motor to become a generator which converts hand motion to electric energy and powers a light bulb. No battery, no pollution, just amazement. The generator could be used as an awesome energy torch. Caution : High Voltage of inspiration and fun! Contents: 1 LED Lamp with holder and wires connected 1 toy motor 2 gears 1 set dynamo torch casing accessories (assembly required) 1 transparent torch cover screws detailed instructions with fun facts.

Here is the link to the Dynamo Torch Science Activity Kit


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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Doodling robot / Vibro-bot mechanical kit

Doodling robot mechanical kit
This kit allows you to build a simple robot with pen for feet. Doodle robot's motor makes it shake, rattle, and spin which results in a variety of patterns being drawn on the paper below it. You can also remove the pens to transform it into a classic little vibro-robot that slides across smooth floors, tables, and countertops.

Here's the link for the Doodling Robot kit.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OLLO - the robotic action mechanical toy

OLLO - robotic action mechanical toy
The OLLO Action Kit represents a cool new approach to construction toys. Motion and action were primary considerations in the development of this toy. The core ingredients of the OLLO action kit are its motor and pivoting rivet connectors.

From the kit description:
'Other building kits use motors, so what makes OLLO unique? you may be wondering. The difference is how OLLO pieces attach to one another. They attach with an innovative two-part rivet (one goes into the other and presses down to lock the pieces in place). And of course you can always undo the rivets (tool included) to build new and wilder things. The OLLO Action Kit is perfect for getting young minds interested in mechanics and building.

Here is the link for the OLLO - robotic action toy.


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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fly Pterosaur paper automaton you can make

Fly Pterosaur paper automaton you can make
From the ingenius mind of Rob Ives at Flying-Pig Paper Animation Kits, here is a fun model for you to purchase, download, print out, and make.

From the Flying-pig.co.uk website:
Turn the handle on the box and the Pterosaur flaps his wings to fly, just like they used to do in prehistoric times.The model used a cam shaft and four bar linkage to to make the wings flap and the Pterosaur rise up and down.

Here's the link to the Pterosaur paper automaton page.


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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Physics equivalent to the class chemistry set

Thames & Kosmos Physics Workshop
Here is the long overdue equivalent to the classic chemistry set: the Physics Workshop set for learning the fundamental laws of mechanical physics in a hands-on way.

Using the 64-page full-color instruction book to build 36 models of machines and then conduct 37 experiments with the models you've built.

You can start by experimenting with simple machines: gears, levers, screws, inclined planes, pulleys, wheels and axles to understand fundamental physics. Then you can build small models of a crane, sail car, pinball game, windmill, wind-powered generator, pendulum clock, hammer machine, centrifuge, scale and many others.

Aimed at ages ages 8 and up, the Physics Workshop requires the addition of one "C" type battery.

Here is the link to the Thames & Kosmos Physics Workshop.


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Friday, April 03, 2009

K'NEX Intro to Simple Machines: Gears set

K'NEX Intro to Simple Machines: Gears set
Mechanical toy maker K'NEX has an educational line of toys. One such line is their 'Intro to Simple Machines' which are designed to demonstrate science and technology concepts.

Shown here is a 198-piece set focuses on investigating and experimenting with gears.

From the product description:
These K'Nex kits inspire young minds and satisfy kids' curiosity on how to construct simple machines. Each innovative kit keeps young builders busy and intrigued for hours at a time.

This Gears Kit builds seven different models and allows kids to work solo or as a team. The models demonstrate spur, crown, chain and sprocket gear assemblies. Includes a compartmentalized storage case with snap-on lid. Curriculum sold separately.

Here is the link for the K'NEX Intro to Simple Machines: Gears set.


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Friday, March 20, 2009

Fire Dragon paper automaton by Walter Ruffler

Fire Dragon paper automaton by Walter Ruffler
Check out this paper automaton kit by Walter Ruffler called 'Fire Dragon'.

From the product description:
Normally a gentle beast, when provoked this dragon breathes fire snapping his mighty jaw, rearing up on his hind legs and fluttering his beautiful wings. A gentle dragon indeed! In Fire Dragon the handle moves a crank slider that makes the dragon rear up. His jaw, forelegs and wings are all operated by strings, which tighten when the dragon rears, causing coordinated life-like movement.


Here is the link to the Fire Dragon paper automaton.


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thames & Kosmos wind power experiment kit

Thames & Kosmos Wind Power Kit
Here is a cool mechanical model you assemble to make a wind turbine with a small electric generator.

It comes with a 32-page manual that walks you through how to conduct more than 20 experiments -- including ones using different numbers of rotor blades, different blade angles and profiles, different wind speeds, different gear ratios, lifting a weight, lighting up an LED, and charging a rechargeable battery.

Here's the product page for the Thames & Kosmos Wind Power wind power experiment kit


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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Insultabotz toy robot kit - a robot with attitude

Now here is a good comedic use of robot technology: the Insultabotz. The Insultabotz kit is easily built with common hand tools.

The Insultabotz moves forward on six insect-like legs. When its infrared eye detects an obstacle in its way, it will stop, reverse direction and then play any message you have prerecorded into the on-board re-recordable voice chip. I'm thinking I would want to record something like: "What the?!? Who put this thing here?!?"

Here is the link for Insultabotz toy robot kit.


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Monday, February 09, 2009

Gakken's Stirling engine powered car kit

Gakken's Stirling engine powered car kit
The other day, the Retro Thing blog drew my attention to this really awesome looking Sterling Engine Car Kit by Gakken.

From one review:
The kit has nice components. The instructions are complete (24 pages in Japanese). And, there are a whole bunch of tiny details to get lost in. The cylinder mount and the gears need to be carefully aligned. This is one of the trickier parts. If you have it misaligned, there will be too much friction for the engine to run. A gauge is supplied to make this step easier.

This and several other hard-to-find Gakken kits can be found at the Make Magazine MakerShed.


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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Brachiating solar robot orangutan kit by OWI

Brachiating solar robot orangutan kit by OWIYou will need a screwdriver and about 20 minutes of time to assemble this solar powered brachiating orangutan. Robot Orangutan climbs hand-over-hand across a horizontally mounted string when exposed to light (either the sun itself or a strong light bulb).





At right, is a photograph of the kit's various pieces. The kit includes the climbing string, but will you will need to provide the screwdriver. No batteries required -- a favorite phrase of mine.

Here is the link for the climbing solar robot orangutan.

This kit, known as OWI-MSK675 can also be ordered from The Automata / Automaton Store.


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Friday, February 06, 2009

Edge Robotic Arm Kit

Edge Robotic Arm Kit
You will need about two hours to assemble the Edge Robotic Arm Kit. No soldering is required.

The robotic arm features five axes of motion that you control via a wired remote. The gripper will open and close, the wrist twists, elbow bends through a range of 300 degrees, and the base rotates 180 degrees. The arm has a vertical reach of 15 inches, and horizontal reach of 12.6 inches.

Here's a page with more info and video of the Edge Robotic Arm Kit at ThinkGeek.com.



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Monday, February 02, 2009

Cupid, Robot and Grumpy Goat Downloads

For a limited time, Rob Ives of Flying-Pig Paper Animations Kits, is offering three of his downloadable kits for one special price.

You can get the files to download and make a cupid, grumpy goat, AND robot (shown here) for £4.99 GBP or a little over $7 USD.

After February, these three kits will only be available printed form.

Here's a link to the Cupid, Robot, Grumpy Goat package deal.


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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bionic Robotic Hand Kit

Bionic Robotic Hand Kit
The folks over at Edmund Scientifics offer this cool-looking hand kit.

From the product description:
This customizable kit allows you to construct a moving, life-size, robotic hand. Using simple tools, you can enjoy every step of the building process.

No soldering or electronic skill is required. Once completed, your hand will be able to open and close at the touch of a button and even grasp items.

Decorate your hand with a glove and jewelry or leave it bare to watch the mechanisms inside. However you choose to use your Bionic Hand, it will be an enjoyable project and intriguing conversation piece for years to come!

Includes an illustrated assembly manual with step-by-step instructions and an AA battery. Requires, but does not include, a screwdriver, small pliers, wire cutter, and drill for assembling the model.


This and many cool robots and kits may be found at Edmund Scientifics.


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Friday, January 16, 2009

Butterfly paper automaton kit from CeraCera

Butterfly paper automaton kit from CeraCera
The folks over at CeraCera have just come out with four new paper automata kits. Among them is this charming Monarch Butterfly that gently flaps its wings when you turn the the crank.

Here is a link to the Monarch Butterfly paper automaton kit from CeraCera.


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