Introduction: Basketball Automata Project

For my automata project, I decided to do something that was basketball related due to how I am extremely passionate about the sport and I wanted to do something special for Kobe Bryant for his birthday. My idea is to create a man that gives the viewer a sense of him spinning the ball using the gears below the man. I would also like to give the man the appearance of Kobe Bryant by pasting his face, jersey's and shoes as those are the parts of him that define who he is.

Step 1: Step 1: Gather the Materials

The following is the list of materials needed to make the automata project out of cardboard:

- 5 Wooden blocks

- 2 Large gears

- 2 Small gears

- 2 Long rods

- 1 Cardboard box

- 1 Strip of blue tack

- 1 Marker

- 1 Boxcutter

- Wood glue

- Scotch tape

Step 2: Step 2: Build the Gears

I started focusing on the functionality of the project rather than the looks first. To allow the ball the spin, I will require two gears, the large yellow gear will spin using the user's hand causing the small blue gear to spin which will include a rod and a ball shaped object of some sort at the top of it. This will give the user a sense of the man spinning the ball using just gears and the proper design.

Step 3: Step 3: Build the Frame

For the frame, I decided to use 2 wooden blocks as the base so that the whole thing will always be stable and perfectly horizontal and still instead of it being slanted. However, this projects does not allow me to use a drill meaning that I could only use cardboard for the rest of the frame. I then poked holes at the places that needed a hole required for the rod to stick through. You can then use glue or tape to keep the rod in place to avoid having it wiggle around while spinning.

Step 4: Step 4: Draw/Cut the Man

At this point, the man who is spinning the ball needed to be cut out and placed onto the frame. For this project I tried to make the drawing resemble Kobe as much as possible. I first took one piece of the cardboard box and drew the outline of the man. I then cut near to the outline of the man using a boxcutter and placed glue onto the feet of the man so that I could paste it onto the frame.

Step 5: Step 5: Develop/Enhance Looks of Ball

I decided near to the end of the project to enhance the looks of the ball that I had originally as I used blue tack for my last ball which consisted of a lot of weight. I decided to go for an alternative that weighs much less, uses less material and is easy to make. To do this, I used wire to recreate the lines on the average design of a basketball. This resembled a ball much more and allowed my project to function much more easily.

Step 6: Step 6: Add More Wooden Blocks (if Necessary)

When placing my man onto the frame, I then realised that I had made the mistake of making him too short. Instead of redoing the man which would take a lot more time and energy, I decided to tape 3 wooden blocks together and place them on top of the frame using glue. I then placed the man on top and he turned out to look like he was spinning the ball at the appropriate height.

Step 7: Step 7: Enhance the Looks of the Whole Project

Since this project is dedicated to Kobe, I decided to print out his face, his jersey and his shoes onto the cardboard man to resemble his looks. I wanted this project to not be overlooked but to be functional, something more than just a statue, and something users can interact with and be entertained by. I think I have achieved that.