Last year I was asked to make an automata for a cruise liner on the theme of 'New York'. It had to be hand operated and funny. I remembered an old black and white photo I had once seen of construction workers taking their lunch break whilst sitting on a steel girder hundreds of feet above New York. I decided to use this image as my starting point.
I decided to use two movments. The worker would lift his sandwich to his mouth, his mouth would open, his arm would drop down again and he would appear to chew. This would be achieved by connecting the arm and mouth to two levers in the base, via thin string. The two levers would be operated by cams, round, slowly rotating discs of plywood on which imformation can be stored. The arm linkage was rather complicated but gave a good movment.