Monday, September 18, 2006

MachineShop: A Design Environment for Automata

Glenn Blauvelt's dissertation looks at how children's abilities to think and reason about machines is affected by the task of designing and constructing simple machines. To do this, he designed MachineShop -- an integrated CAD/CAM system for children aged 10 to 12.

MachineShope provides the kids with a tool for the creation of the mechanisms for use in mechanical automata. Specifically, MachineShop allows users to design cams, gears, and levers which are then fabricated using computer controlled machine tools, such as carbon dioxide laser cutters.

Here's a cool gallery of automata created with MachineShop. Great idea!



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