Cardboard automata is a type of mechanical sculpture made of simple materials that lets you bring stories to life. As you build you can explore simple machine elements such as cams, levers, and linkages in a playful way. Making this version of automata lets you quickly get started in building functional mechanisms as your mechanical sculpture ideas develop.
A PLAYFUL AND INVENTIVE APPROACH TO LEARNING SIMPLE MACHINES: This is a playful and inventive way of exploring levers, cams, cam followers, linkages, and other mechanisms.
Activities and investigations encourage learners to complexify their thinking over time The motion of automata depends on various factors such as the size and shape of the cams, the position of the axles, and number of cams and cam followers. Exploring in those factors is a good starting point to understanding simple mechanisms. Introducing other elements such as gears, linkages, and springs will add complexity to the activity and enable learners to explore endless possibilities for creating mechanical motions in automata.
Our projects and investigations are intended to help students develop more complex thinking skills over time. Because of the range of materials and variables accessible for experimentation, students can begin at a level that they are comfortable with, then change and modify their designs as they discover new ideas. Tinkering can be a lot of fun, quirky, inspiring, and unexpected.
Cardboard Automata are a good example of integrating science and art into an activity. For learners, the narrative, decorated aspects of the automata are as important as the mechanical elements.
This activity is a good introduction to a variety of mechanisms and systems found in other PIE activities, and in the real world.
This activity is a good example of integrating science and art into an activity. For learners, the narrative and decorative aspects of the automata are as important as the mechanical elements. Making automata takes a lot of time, but going back and forth between the narrative and the mechanism throughout the activity will make the automata very unique and personally meaningl for learners.