The Story of
the Automaton

Putting It In Motion...

For Teachers

For Students

For Reference

Maillardet's Automaton

Automata Sites

Clockwork Bodies
Lots of interesting information and photos of early automata will keep visitors to this site busy for hours. The "Building Better Humans" website is a selective history of the interaction between technology and the body. The "Clockwork Bodies" section pertains to the amazingly life-like automata constructed in Europe during the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.

An Unhurried View of Automata
A four part supplement to The Magic Cauldron, this article contains a great deal of interesting information about historical automata including The Franklin Institute's Maillardet's Automaton. The writing style is informative and entertaining at the same time. A "must read" site for anyone interested in automata!

Gallery of Automata
An excellent collection of historical photos of various automata with brief annotations regarding the source and history of each from Rony Gelman a student at New York University.

Encyclopedia Britannica - "Automaton"'s online encyclopedia article on automata.

The British Clockmaker - Automata
This page contains photographs of devices known as automata .Automaton (singular) is defined as: "A mechanism having its motive power so concealed that it appears to move spontaneously." The term is generally applied to mechanical human or animal figures which move by clockwork motivation. These figures, the swan, soldier clock, bird box, and Cox carousel clock, and above all, the Jack figures, Southwold Jack and Jack-o-the-Clock, are all automatons.

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre
A delightful website to visit on a rainy afternoon! Automata museum, theater, and shop based in Covent Garden, London. Provides information on mechanical objects and automata. Also contains virtual exhibitions, and an online shop. Among the items offered for sale is the book "Cabaret Mechanical Movement - Understanding Movement and Making Automata" which contains a lot of theory but it’s also packed with practical tips and ideas for making your own automata, moving toys or mechanical sculpture. Excellent resource!

Flying Pig - Animated Models For You to Make
A quirky range of unique card and paper moving models! Several patterns are available for free download and others can be obtained for a reasonable fee. Cardboard engineering is an inexpensive and entertaining way to learn more about automata and design. The site also includes some useful lessons on mechanisms & structures.

Simple Machines Sites

Spotlight on Simple Machines
Information on the six basic simple machines from The Franklin Institute's InQuiry Almanac archives.

Inventor's Workshop
This section of the Exploring Leonardo website highlights some of Leonardo da Vinci's futuristic inventions, introduces the elements of machines, lets you explore how these elements can work together to perform new functions, and offers you a chance to try analyzing Leonardo's inventions and designing your own.

Simple Machines
The Ithaca City School District has a nice site about simple machines for grades 3+. Click on any of the pictures of the simple machines to learn more about them.

MIKids Simple Machines Page
Waukazoo Elementary School in Holland, Michigan offers brief explanations of all the simple machines and has a great collection of photos demonstrating objects that represent each type.

Robotics Sites

Angus' Robotics Site
Angus' Robotics Site is the creation of a young English student . The site features robotics projects illustrated with photographs. Visitors can download robot related utilities or check out resources and robotics links.
This site provides resources for robotics, including projects, books, and links to other robotics sites.
Robot Museum
Learn the history of robots. Since 1923, robots have provided the public with unique and bizarre personas in entertainment through on-stage performances, film and television programs. Read about it here!

The Tech Museum of Innovation - Robotics Exhibit
The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA created an online resource to accompany the "Robotics-sensing-thinking-acting" traveling exhibit. Features include the history and workings of robots, a timeline, classroom activities, robot art, and much more. This is a "must-see" site.

KISS Institute for Practical Robotics
The KISS Institute of Practical Robotics is a non-profit organization that provides learning and skill development through the application of technology, particularly robotics. The site features the High School Botball Robotics Tournament, robotics courses for students, and educational resources.
People who are just getting started with robotics can find useful links to stores, competitions, organizations and clubs, toys, robotics cartoons, and hardware and software.