The development of our automaton was mainly driven by the variety of interesting movements produced by the objects we found at the Center for Creative Reuse. We played around by combining some of the objects and seeing how their interactions changed. We started putting these objects together without one cohesive idea about what the final product would be. The idea was to develop as much character as possible.

The first major element that we liked was the springy antennae. We wanted them to respond to motion and the distance of the observer so we mapped the antenna's angular movement to the observer's movement. Since we had a limited number of motors, we wanted to use the two motors that powered the antennae for other movements, so we attached them to the body of the creature. This produced a pleasing flapping motion that made it seem a bit like a penguin. In the same spirit, we added a variety of springs to the inside of the creature which bounce around and grind against each other.

The final result is fairly simple, but we got some interesting motion and character out of it. It would have been nice to do something with linkages, which we thought about a few times, but never implemented. We also thought about doing something with LEDs on the inside, but decided against it as well. We could have painted it yellow.

The hot glue gun was handled evenly on this project. Weirdie made the hat and wrote the code. Chromsan made the inside and hooked up the wiring.  We both made the antennae.

In progress pictures:

Code can be found here.