Robotics Workshop

Last weekend – Friday to Monday – we had a workshop at the Time’s Up Lab here in Linz. The focus was on kinetic works, either mechanical driven or by electronics.
About 12 people took part, supported by the knowledge and patience of Tim and Mark. A lot of interesting, sometimes not functioning and partly life-threatining objects were produced during those 4 days. A complete list can be found in the workshop’s blog.

My project idea was inspired by the story of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The story tells the mayhem caused by half-knowledge of wizardry. Due to the lazyness of the apprentice to carry some several 100 hundred water buckets some 1000 stairs, he inspirits a broom to do the work for him. Unfortunately he lacks the knowledge of stopping the broom and thus he resorts to blunt force: hacking the broom into million pieces.
Now, this inspired my first part of the project. An entity which exists out of many small entities and when you kick or punch it, it should dispers into its many single parts.
However, the story is not over with the broom being sliced into molecules. To the apprentice’s affreight the new tiny pieces of broom continue to live and work and soon the place is about to drown.
Similar my machine should come to life after it was punched – it should retract its single parts and return to its former state of one big entity.
To quote another famous fable: like in Terminator the T1000 finds its dispersed parts and becomes one big entity again.

As I wanted to realize the object with mechanics only, I decided to work on just the mechanical trigger which would allow to store the energy of the punch, release it and reset the object to its initial state.