Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Driver - car automaton with moving scenery

Here is a nifty landscape automaton showing a car with the scenery moving past -- literally!

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Monday, February 01, 2010

5 foot long working scale roller coaster model

5 foot long working scale roller coaster model
Shown here is a 1/48th scale working roller coaster model.

From the model description:
A rotating spring lifts the train up the first hill, then releases the train, where it dives and rises into its second turn. The second hill provides enough potential energy for the train to continue smoothly around the loop and power it through its corkscrew. The kit consists of 464 pieces made of durable ABS and POM plastic. When fully assembled, it spans 4' 9" long by 15" wide and stands 25" tall.

Here's a link to the working scale roller coaster.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Push-powered wooden musical automaton

I don't exactly have the words for this incredible creation since I've never seen anything quite like it. It's a wooden cart that -- when pushed -- plays a tune, a drum, and animates a human figure on the front. Another wonder from the mind of Osamu Kanda!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The automata of Sophie Catherine Naylor

Here is a video of a creative automaton done by Sophie Catherine Naylor. She just graduated from Loughborough University having studied illustration and animation. She specialized in automata during her final year.

I expect we will be seeing more automata from her in the near future.

Check out pictures and video of many other automata by Sophie Catherine Naylor on her web site.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Making Wood Trucks & Construction Vehicles

Making Wood Trucks & Construction Vehicles
Time to start making some gift for the holidays. Why not make some wooden trucks and vehicles? Beautiful, durable, and without those annoying sound chips.

Product Description:
An old favorite gets a fabulous freshening up, with full-color images throughout -- but the projects remain as wonderful as ever, appealing to children of all ages. Bulldozers, dump trucks, loaders, and forklifts, each with a variety of moving parts: all these toy vehicles are included for the making, with plenty of diagrams, very detailed instructions that proceed logically and clearly from part to part, and images of the final product. Try a box trailer with a semi-cab, doors, axles, wheels (with simulated tread, if you like), and mud flaps. They're fun to craft and fun to receive.

Here's the link for the book on Making Wood Trucks & Construction Vehicles

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Metal Detecting Remote-Controlled Dune Buggy

Metal Detecting Remote-Controlled Dune Buggy
OK, so we've seen radio controlled cars for decades now, and they don't seem that exciting anymore. But...combine that remote-controlled car with a metal detector -- now we're on to something again. And hey...the four faux-gold doubloons are included!

From the product description:
This is the remote control dune buggy that can detect buried metallic objects when driven over suitable terrain, including backyards, dirt lots, low grass, or flat sand. The buggy can detect buried iron-based metals down to 4" and when it does, it flashes a red LED and begins beeping to alert you of potential treasure. The remote controls forward, backward, left, and right movement from up to 25' away. Metal detecting sensitivity can be modified to suit the terrain with a simple dial on the buggy.

Here's the link for the The Metal Detecting Dune Buggy.

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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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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Zecar - Toy Car with Mechanical Flywheel

Zecar  - Toy Car with Mechanical Flywheel
The environmentally-friendly Zecar toy car needs no batteries. The reason is that this little stainless steel car has an internal flywheel to store energy. Once in motion, the Zecar flywheel car has a fair amount of torque and can roll or climb over small obstacles.

Part of the profit from Zecar goes towards the reforestation project in Brazil. That's pretty cool.

Here's where you can get order your own Zecar Flywheel Toy Car.

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Palm-sized remote controlled hovercraft toy

The mini Hover-Q is a very small remote control hovercraft that skims over the floor on a cushion of air. You control the forward speed and right/left turns.

Thinkgeek.com on steering the hovercraft:
In typical hovercraft fashion the control is a bit like playing asteroids... thrust, over-compensate and then turn to reverse-thrust and correct. You'll be surprised how fast the Hover Q can go at full throttle so you'll either need to keep a gentle touch on the speed control or find a large smooth area...

Here is the link for more information on Palm-sized remote control hovercraft toy.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Kid Galaxy RC Bump-N-Chuck Bumper Cars

Kid Galaxy RC Bump-N-Chuck Bumper Cars
A fun looking set of remote control bumper cars. The object is to knock the other driver out of his seat. They are rated well by Amazon customers. I love the name.

From the product description
Bump...and watch your opponent's driver fly through the air! Hit your opponent's car straight on or sideswipe it and watch his driver eject or "chuck" through the air activating cool sounds. Cars are designed with fans that really work giving the illusion of wind power and adding to the effect. Set includes two remotes, two cars and two drivers. Cars are full functional. Requires 10 "AAA" batteries, not included. Measures 8.25" x 6.25" x 14.5".

Here's a product page with a short video of the Kid Galaxy RC Bump N Chuck Bumper Cars

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

'Bird Catcher' automaton by Keith Newstead

Take a look at this great new version of Keith Newstead's 'Cat Copter' automaton.

There are some beautiful large images showing the lovely details in the 'Bird Catcher' on the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre web site.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Victorian Flea Circus Chariot Project

The other day, I wrote a short post about a very nicely made miniature tool bench. If you are interested in miniatures, you should hop on over to the Workshop Shed blog to see more about how Andy put together this amazing little brass chariot.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Steampunk Romance - video of the automaton

The other day I told you about A Steampunk Romance -- the new book by Keith Newstead. Here is a some video of the actual automaton he created and documented in the book. Wonderful! He is so good with metals and contraptions. I'm a big fan.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Chinese master of junk robots

A Chinese master of junk robotsBack in 2007, an amazing story circulated around the blogsphere about a man in China who -- with no formal engineering education -- has created a menagerie of robotic creations out of junk. Among the most impressive is a robot-powered rickshaw (shown here) that can pull a passenger along.

Here is a link to a video of Mr. Woo, the Chinese Robot Farmer on Gizmodo.com.

Note: If you want to make some junkbots of your own, I've got to recommend the book JunkBots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels.

[ Thanks Charles! ]

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Steampunk Romance book by Keith Newstead

A Steampunk Romance by Keith Newstead
The other day leading automata-maker Keith Newstead announced the creation of a book dedicated to describing in text and photographs his first foray into the Steampunk aesthetic.

This was fated to be a success from the start. Newstead is a talented automata maker in so many respects, but when he creates any type of transport or vehicle, he may be unequaled. The resulting automaton is a whirling, pumping, spinning, chugging, flapping, cranking wonder.

Check out the extensive preview of the book and think about buying A Steampunk Romance by Keith Newstead at Blurb.com.

[ Thanks Sergio! ]

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