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Another nice automaton by Walter Ruffler, this time with a very simple cam (ex-centric disc) drive; most movements are derived from one primary movement, namely tilting the boat sidewise on a paper hinge. The cam disc moves a follower rod that simply lifts one side of the boat from underneath, causing a rolling movement like it would happen when a squall falls in. This causes follow-up movements: The sailor leans back to compensate with his weight; doing this, he also moves the tiller to bear off and ease the pressure. At the same time the main sail moves outward as if he had eased the main sheet. Which is all good, correct sailing behaviour in the situation. While all this happens, a seagulls sits on top of the mast, obviously enjoying the wind and the waves.
I like this automaton a lot, not the least because of the inherent humour in the way Mr Ruffler set the scene.
(Click image to show it in large size in a new window.)
|Front and front-side views. Note how the jib hides the mechanism that moves the sail.|
|Action: Normal sailing, and then the boat tips, but our brave sailor knows what to do. Every time.|
|Back view and close-up of the cam mechanism|
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, last change 2011-03-12