Introduction: Automata Project

Brainstorming - When I saw what the project was for some reason my head instantly went to the song “YMCA”. So I figured I could make an automata where there is a sign that says “It’s fun to stay at the” and then the letters Y, M, C and A pop up.


Supplies - Cardboard, skewers, glue, scissors, exacto-knife, paint

Step 1: Base

First I cut an 11 cm by 13 cm base out of cardboard. Then made four pieces, two 11 cm by 2 cm and two 13 cm by 2 cm which I glued on the bottom to make the base.

Step 2: Structure

First I cut two 15 cm by 11 cm walls to be glued onto the sides of the base to act a a wall. Then I cut a 11 cm by 8 cm to go 4 cm below the top of the structure so the skewers can be stuck in there to be more secure. The top was a 12 cm by 11 cm piece. Finally, I have a sign for my project that says "Its fun to stay at the" and I made cut that out 7 cm by 12 cm and painted the words on it.

Step 3: Cams

For this project I needed four cams and I wanted to have three cut outs per cam to make them bigger. I cut 12 cardboard circles that were 5 cm in diameter. Then I put glue on the exterior and glued a piece of paper on it to make the skewers easier to slide on.

Step 4: Skewers

First, I cut a hole in both wall pieces and placed a skewer with the cams attached on it. To secure that piece I made two circular cut outs and glued them to the outside of the wall to not let the skewer move around. Then I took four skewers and and cut them down to 15 cm. Then I attached the letters to the top of the skewers. On the bottom I put springs on the bottom of the skewers so they would stand up on the small piece of popsicle stick that was glued to the bottom to slide on the cams.

Step 5: Tests

My first test did not go so well. I had glued the bottoms of the skewers in a specific way that it would only go one way. However, I put the letters on backwards so when I tried to spin it, it wouldn't work. So then I had to disassemble them and put them the right way. My second test was a success and it worked flawlessly.