What's On My Bench: Electric Chair, Back Walls


Good evening all...
I am making progress with the Electric Chair. In the image you see the two bipeds (minus their heads), the electric chair, and two back walls.  The back walls contain a clock (the minute hand moves one minute) and the execution counter (it advances 1 time each execution).
As I've explained, I want to be able to lift this whole top assembly off of the drive frame (just undo some screws and then lift it off).  This has required me to have the motion transmitters and receivers not interlock, and that the motion receivers on the top assembly cannot require more than 1/2" of vertical motion.   Particularly for the chair shaker this was a bit of a challenge...but in the end I've got three of the five required motions constructed.
I'd like to take just a minute to address the subject of "The Electric Chair".  As I speak with friends about this piece of art some of them become uneasy...they think that this is a bit dark.  But, we always have an interesting conversation (because of the automata).  It causes people to think.  To me this automata is a story and it's also got a bit of dark humor at the very end.  It's not going to be a happy piece...just a realistic piece.  I am enjoying the engineering challenge and do not feel bad about creating this piece.  It's interesting to me.  I like that it is controversial.
And I would like to address a series of automata THAT I WILL NOT create.  For decades I've been aware of the way that we humans treat each other.  We can be wonderfully good...and we can be horribly bad.  I had been lightly considering doing an automata series about the torture devices that we've used over the millennia.   The more research that I've done, however, has caused me to permanently shelf this automata series.  We don't need more bad in this world...we need more good.  We don't need someone building torture automata.  We need people creating "happy" automata.
I've got another automata on my bench (The Inclined Slide) that is happy and healthy.
So...anyway...what's on your bench?
-Jim Coffee-
one of the Automata Group Moderators
I create automata near San Diego, California