McMaster-Carr - most comprehensive selection of parts online, super fast shipping

Robots Parts & Hobby Servos

Pololu Robotics - robot parts
Robot Shop - robot parts
Dagu Robotics robot parts
Probotix -stepper motors, drivers & CNC Frame Kits
Lynxmotion - Makers of the “Servo Erector Set”
+++++Download 3D Models of the Servo Erector Set+++++

Servo City  – Great Selection of Servos and Mechanical Parts (Mounts Gears, Linkages, Joints, etc)
Hobby King - large selection of servos

Automation Technologies Inc - Heavy Duty Stepper Motors
Stock Drive Products
 - timing belts and pulleys

Good Bets for Solenoids

All Electronics - electronics surplus, often good deals on solenoids
Surplus Sales of Nebraska - electronic surplus
Small Pipe Organs - useful inexpensive solenoids

J-Omega - midi controller cards

In New York
Argo Surplus  – Surplus Shop on Canal St.  Pretty Hit or miss but they often have some DC motors
NYU Computer Store  – Small but useful selection of p-comp supplies, including a few servos, steppers and DC motors.

Further Reading: Technical
Harry T. Brown, 507 Mechanical Movements
Dustyn Roberts, Making Things Move
Technology Student   - Good descriptions and animations of a variety of Cams and other mechanisms
Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots - Roland Siegwart, Illah Reza Nourbakhsh, Davide Scaramuzza
Computational Design of Mechanical Characters

Further reading: Conceptual:

Donna Haraway,  “A Cyborg Manifesto” (full text)
Tom Standage, The Turk: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine
Jessica Riskin Eighteenth-Century Wetware (full text)
Villiers de L’isle Adam, Tomorrow’s Eve
Patrick Feaster: From Echo to Tinfoil: The Early Phonograph in Light of its Prehistory (audio)

Historical Automata
Maillardet’s Automaton
Mechanical Marvels – Recent BBC Doc on Automata
Fete Paradiso  – festival of antique amusement park rides on Governer’s Island through end of September
Jaquet Droz Automata
Recreation of Von Kempelen’s Chess Playing Turk
Edison’s Talking Doll  and Video Here


Jean Tinguely
Tim Hawkinson

Theo Jansen
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
Chico MacMurtire
Jonathan Schipper
Bruce Shapiro
Arthur Ganson
Compagnie 111: Sans Objet
Jon Kessler
Douglas Repetto

Bot & Dolly – combining industrial robots and projection mapping

Conlon Nancarrow
   -Great Nancarrow Interview (audio)
Pierre Bastien
  -artist talk

Andy Cavatorta

Joe Jones


Collections of Automata

Musee Mechanique  San Francisco, CA
Guinness Collection of Mechanical Instruments and Automata Morristown, NJ
Museum Speelklok
 - Utrecht, Netherlands
Musee Arts et Metiers – Paris, France

Museum of Automata - York, England (closed)


Automata on YouTube