Museum of Automata, York, 199x

May 10, 2015


Great collection of automatons in San Francisco

July 1, 2013

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Drinking Man (automation)
This machine was purchased by Mr.Zelinsky in England and shipped to its new home in San Francisco. It was painstakingly restored, while still in England, after 50 years of service. This device was built to reflect a favorite English pastime – an evening at the Pub. Put a quarter in and this marvel will actually “drink” liquid from a bottomless cup, re-circulating the liquid through his arm and back into the cup.

http://www.museemechanique.org/


Michael Landy’s Saints Alive at the National Gallery 2013

July 1, 2013

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Saints Alive! Michael Landy at the National Gallery. All images copyright: National Gallery.

http://www.newstatesman.com/art-and-design/2013/06/michael-landys-saints-alive-bloody-carnage-brought-life-and-mechanised


Classic Automata Film

September 26, 2009

top 12 videos of creepy automata
There is nothing more creepy than the charred remains of a moth eaten victorian doll with rolling eyes and moving limbs. That is the premise for the Oobject’s Halloween list, videos of the most creepy automata in action.

http://www.oobject.com/category/top-12-videos-of-creepy-automata/


Joueuse de Tympanon – automate

September 8, 2009

Karakuri ningyō

June 26, 2008

Karakuri ningyō (からくり人形?) are mechanized puppets or automata from Japan from the 18th century to 19th century. The word ‘karakuri’ means a “mechanical device to tease, trick, or take a person by surprise”. It implies hidden magic, or an element of mystery. In Japanese ningyō is written as two separate characters, meaning person and shape. It may be translated as puppet, but also by doll or effigy. The dolls’ gestures provided a form of entertainment.

Three main types of karakuri exist: Butai karakuri (舞台からくり stage karakuri?) were used in theatre. Zashiki karakuri (座敷からくり tatami room karakuri?) were small and were played with in rooms. Dashi karakuri (山車からくり festival car karakuri?) were used in religious festivals, where the puppets were used to perform reenactments of traditional myths and legends.

They influenced the Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku theatre.Karakuri ningyō (からくり人形?) are mechanized puppets or automata from Japan from the 18th century to 19th century. The word ‘karakuri’ means a “mechanical device to tease, trick, or take a person by surprise”. It implies hidden magic, or an element of mystery. In Japanese ningyō is written as two separate characters, meaning person and shape. It may be translated as puppet, but also by doll or effigy. The dolls’ gestures provided a form of entertainment.

Three main types of karakuri exist: Butai karakuri (舞台からくり stage karakuri) were used in theatre. Zashiki karakuri (座敷からくり tatami room karakuri) were small and were played with in rooms. Dashi karakuri (山車からくり festival car karakuri) were used in religious festivals, where the puppets were used to perform reenactments of traditional myths and legends. They influenced the Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku theatre.


Kirsty Boyle has a great site about her Karakuri research

http://www.karakuri.info/


Fellini’s Casanova- The Dancing Doll Automaton

May 27, 2008

After watching ‘Fellini’s Casanova’ (1976) again yesterday i thought i should post it as it left me with thoughts as to what the film actually means. Specifically the dancing doll automaton and the bird automation – What did they represent?; A reflection of Casanova’s empty and mechanical soul, devoid of real love. We told by Donald Sutherland in the special feature that Fellini detested Casanova’s moral frivolity and compared him to the re-surging ‘well-to do’ scene in Rome at the time. As with other works of Fellini we are left to fill in the pieces.

The doll has definite connections with Olympia from the novel ‘The Sandman’ by E.T.A Hoffman. 1816. Jentsch and Freud used ‘The Sandman’ as the key text in their attempts to define ‘the uncanny’.

(On the psycology of the uncanny, Jenstch 1906),(The Uncanny, Freud, 1919).

Plot: 18th Century Italy. Giacomo Casanova has a reputation as a great lover. He passes through many adventures in search of passion. He meets the aging Marquise d’Urfe who wants him to impregnate her so that she can reincarnate in her child’s body, is jailed as a black magician but escapes, and enters a love-making competition held by the Prince del Brando, along with many other adventures.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074291/


Automated Caveman Gets a Rear-End Drive (Jan, 1964)

November 6, 2007

Interesting futuristic nostalgia from the blog http://blog.modernmechanix.com

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/category/robots/ 

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Despite his wide-open situation, the caveman on the preceding page is feeling no pain.


Tesla – father of robotics etc etc etc

October 14, 2007

I have, once again became obsessed again with the life and inventions of Nikola Tesla. This was fueled by reading Empires of light : Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the race to electrify the world, JONNES, J. (2003) New York, Random House, i Also recently visited Niagara falls. Niagara, is the site of the first hydro – electric power plant. The system uses an Alternating Current polyphase induction motor invented by Tesla and implemented by George Westinghouse. The power station was the first of its kind because it travelled the distance of 28 miles to the town of Buffalo 1896, powering electric lighting and street cars etc. Tesla is called the father of robotics because of his invention of Remote control 1898. He also wished to create an automate of himself, harness free energy for everyone for free, hence his other title, father of free energy, or ‘the man who invented the twentieth century’.

http://peswiki.com/energy/PowerPedia:Nikola_Tesla

naslovna.jpg

Also check out Secret of Nikola Tesla – The Movie (Tajna Nikole Tesle) (1980)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079985/


Grey Walter

September 6, 2007

walterandtortoise.jpg

I have decided for my next project i would like to build some autonomous mobile robots. The first kind of these robots was created by Grey Walter (1949), he called them ‘Elmer and Elsie. When they ran out of battery power they went to the recharge station and recharged them selves, how cool is that!

Grey Walter’s most famous work was his construction of some of the first electronic autonomous robots. He wanted to prove that rich connections between a small number of brain cells could give rise to very complex behaviors – essentially that the secret of how the brain worked lay in how it was wired up. His first robots, which he used to call “Machina Speculatrix” and named Elmer and Elsie, were constructed between 1948 and 1949 and were often described as tortoises due to their shape and slow rate of movement – and because they ‘taught us’ about the secrets of organisation and life. The three-wheeled tortoise robots were capable of phototaxis, by which they could find their way to a recharging station when they ran low on battery power.

In one experiment he placed a light on the “nose” of a tortoise and watched as the robot observed itself in a mirror. “It began flickering,” he wrote. “Twittering, and jigging like a clumsy Narcissus.” Walter argued that if it were seen in an animal it “might be accepted as evidence of some degree of self-awareness.”

Later versions of the robots were exhibited at the Festival of Britain in 1951. Walter stressed the importance of using purely analogue electronics to simulate brain processes at a time when his contemporaries such as Alan Turing and John Von Neumann were all turning towards a view of mental processes in terms of digital computation. His work inspired subsequent generations of robotics researchers such as Rodney Brooks, Hans Moravec and Mark Tilden. Modern incarnations of Walter’s turtles may be found in the form of BEAM robotics.

Recently, one of the original tortoises was replicated by Dr. Owen Holland, of the University of the West of England in 1995 – using some of the original parts. A specimen of a second generation turtle is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Another example can be seen in London UK in the Science Museum’s Making the Modern World gallery.

from WIKIpedia

Books

  • The Living Brain, [1953], Penguin, London, 1967
  • An Electromechanical Animal, Dialectica (1950) Vol. 4: 42—49
  • An imitation of life, Scientific American (1950) 182(5): 42—45
  • A machine that learns, Scientific American (1951) 185(2): 60—63
  • The Living Brain, New York (1953)