24 September 2019, Still Plodding Along on the Test Stand

Construction of the Test Stand is important for several reasons:

  • The Test Stand is the first place that the geometry of the automata is actually developed so that it functions reliably.
  • The Test Stand permits thousands of cycles of “burn in”, under power.
  • The Test Stand creates the ‘biped standard’ for it’s automata.

As I have been creating this test stand things have been going pretty well.  I am experimenting with building my own hub clamps.  The clamps that I have been purchasing are $5.99 each.  Every time I use one of the purchased hubs I feel like I’m over paying.  Not that I think they are overpriced…but that I am overpaying.,

And I am also experimenting with different versions of cam followers.  The cam follower that you see in the image is a replacement part for a sliding screen door.

I’ve got the Inclined Slide Test Stand operating the biped via hand crank.  I’m very pleased with the motion and believe that this cam profile will be what is used on the actual automata.
The Inclined Slide Project Sheet can be found here.

And not to talk about the weather too much…but just to say that it looks like we are going to get our first rain of the season over the weekend.  It will be nice.  Things have become pretty dry.

This is the cam follower on the Inclined Slide Test Stand

15 September 2019, Test Stand & It’s HOT!

Inclined Slide #1 is moving along nicely.  Pictured is the biped test stand…still being developed.  When I create an automata that I know will be  #1 of a series I always build a test stand for the biped.  This allows me to create good reliable geometry…and then to ensure that each additional biped that is created for the series is properly hinged and configured.  The test stand will be motorized which allows me to “burn in” each biped…cycling it through thousands of cycles before installing it onto it’s automata.
The Inclined Slide Project Sheet is here.

Big Wheel Lift #1 has again accompanied me when I play my street organ.  The power pack that I purchased is working very well…and the automata continues to attract attention and conversation about automata.  Big Wheel Lift #1 has cycled more than 23,000 marbles and does not drop any of them.  It’s nice having the new case.
The Big Wheel Lift Project Sheet is here.

Things went slowly today.  The temperature exceeded 100°f so I took a nap in the middle of the day.  What a treat!  I’m feeling refreshed as I type this.  I simply couldn’t move faster than a snail when it was so hot.

The Inclined Slide Test Stand on it’s way to completion.


8 September 2019: A Case for Big Wheel Lift, Biped Hinges, Automata Magazine

This has been a good week.

I’ve finished the case for Big Wheel Lift #1.  In addition to holding the Big Wheel Lift it has racks for a set of marbles and for the 110v battery pack.  I used it today to take Big Wheel Lift #1 to the Sikes Farmers Market with me…where it operates next to me while I play my street organ.  The case is virtually airtight, which means that no dust will get inside.

I’m in the process of hinging the joints on the biped for Inclined Slide #1.  I’ve yet to identify a ‘standard’ way of installing joints.  Perhaps it will always be on a case by case basis.  I try hard to build longevity into my automata.  Big Wheel Lift #1, which was completed just last month, has already cycled more than 23,000 marbles.  The cycles add up fast.  Everything in these little machines needs to be properly constructed…always with an eye on longevity.  The automata monkey on my street organ has cycled in excess of 1,000,000 times.  And that’s all hand crank work.

Big Screw is forming in my mind.  I believe that it will be the next automata in the Jim’s Gym series of exercise machines.

The September/October issue of Automata Magazine was published.  It’s a great issue…I really enjoy and value Automata Magazine.  In addition the Automata Magazine Forum has been introduced.  I hope that this forum becomes a viable conversation pit for all things automata.

Big Wheel Lift #1 Carrying Case