There is a lot going on right now…most of it in my brain.
On the automata front, I’ve finished Auger Lift #1, with the exception of the carrying case and the proximity sensor (more on proximity sensors in a bit).
In the past, I’ve been working with two different themes, 1) Jim’s Gym, and 2) Product Spinners. At the turn of the year, I decided to add a third focus: Earth Awareness.
Earth Awareness: This is a complicated subject but I’ve been able to narrow things down a bit by focusing on the statistic that in order for us to be in balance with the earth (the way we are living today) there needs to be 1.6 Planet Earths. I’m in the process of determining how to communicate this. It’s a challenge that is interesting.
Proximity Sensors: I participate in the Automata Magazine online forum. One of the topics recently was Arduino. This has got me thinking about how I could use a small microprocessor and what I’ve concluded is that immediately I could use a proximity sensor that will turn an automaton on when someone is proximal, and then would turn it off when no humans are around. I like this idea and think it would be useful.
So I’ve been on the journey of specing what I want the proximity sensor to do, and then of sourcing the components so that I can build the sensor. The sourcing part is complicated. There is no one place to go. I’m going to need to establish relationships with about four vendors when I embark on this journey. I’ve been reminded that to create automatons I’ve got relationships with about a dozen vendors. I’ve slowly built these relationships over the years, terminating about as many as I have found useful. It’s tough finding good vendors. On the other hand, the fact that we can shop online is like a godsend. I will be creating a prototype proximity sensor that hopefully can be used with all of my motorized automata. It will be a stand-alone unit, about the size of a cigar box.
I was born in 1945, which means that by some measurements I am old. As is true of most of us, as we age we learn. And what we learn should change our outlook and our behavior. In my case, one of the things that I’ve learned is that I’ve had too many interests in my life…I’ve not focused enough on the primary things. During 2020 I slowly came to the realization that I should focus on just three things: 1) Myself (happiness and health), 2) My Wife (I need to be as supportive and as loving as I’m capable), and 3) Automata. I’ve spent time and energy in 2020 disposing of and or ending relationships or activities that don’t support one of those three primary focal points. As I enter 2021 and the remainder of my life I’m going to stay focused on just those three things. By doing so I believe that my quality of life will improve and that my impact on the planet (for what it is worth) will be more positive.
My two automata categories of focus have been Product Spinners and Jim’s Gym automatons. I’m adding one more category…Earth Awareness. I admit that I don’t have even one automaton in mind yet for the Earth Awareness category…but I also believe that automata can increase awareness of how we should be inhabiting this planet. I think that it is vitally important that we properly inhabit this planet…this space ship. We need to learn how to do it.
In my automata world, Auger Lift #1 sits on my workbench completely disassembled as I carefully apply coats of paint to each component.
2020 was a long year. A year like 2020, however, forces the realization that most of the time we’ve got it pretty darn good.
I suspect that 2021 will be a better year…however the price paid will be spread over many of the coming years.
I’ve cut my activities down to just “myself, my wife, and my art”. This simplification allows me to focus more on the things that are important to me. In hindsight, I’ve had too many interests over the years. I should have focused years ago.
In the studio, the Auger Lift is coming along nicely. the biped has been created, the elliptical pedaling mechanism is operating, the auger lift is lifting marbles. The last thing, the actual marble run itself, is being created at this time. I suspect that by Thursday or Friday I’ll have the machine circulating marbles. After that…30 or 40 hours of burn-in run time…then disassembly for paint. This automata should be completed by the end of February.
In the meanwhile, the next one is taking shape in my head.
Happy New Year everyone. We wish you the best in 2021.