Automata (or a single automaton) are self-operating machines designed to follow a set of operations automatically. This means they do not run on electrical power like many other machines do! When designing an automaton, it must be as simple as possible to conserve its energy with the minimal number of actions possible in order to be successful.
Automata are often used to calculate complex mathematic problems, one of the most famous automata is the Turing Machine, designed in 1936 by Alan Turing, the “Father of Modern Computing” himself!
Automata are also great fun when used for play — have a go at making your own automata by following these instructions!
Make Your Own Flappy Wings Automata
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Skill Level: Easy
You Will Need:
- Clothes peg
- Automata template (or paper)
- Pencil or pen
- Colouring pens/pencils (optional)
Step 1: Download and print the template above, then cut out all the shapes including the rectangles on the left-hand side.
Step 2: Choose the first design you want to make. Glue the two plain sides together leaving the pattern sides on display. This will make your automation stronger. Repeat with the other two shapes
Step 3: Fold the wings up, then glue the middle of your template to the top of the peg.
Hot tip: If you’re using a plastic clothes peg, blue-tack may work better than glue.
Step 4: Take one of the rectangle pieces and glue the end piece to the template, wrapping around the bottom of the peg and attaching it to the other end of the template.
Step 5: Wait for the glue to dry, then try out your automaton. Complete all steps with the other two shapes. You’ve finished, it’s that easy! Did it work?
Ka rawe! Well-done! You’ve made your very own automaton. Can you make a different-shaped one using the same method? What else moves like that?
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