Monday, February 11, 2008

Vaucanson's Defecating Duck Automaton

One of the earliest well known automata was The Duck by Jacques de Vaucanson, first exhibited in 1739. Vaucanson (1709 - 1782) was a French engineer credited with creating fine automata that some regard as world's first robots. He is also credited with creating the first completely automated loom.

Here is a link to a video featuring a reproduction of Vaucanson's duck automaton on YouTube. If I am not mistaken, this reproduction was made by Frédéric Vidoni for the Museum of the Automata in Grenoble, in order to pay tribute to Vaucanson.

Here is a link to an earlier post with a photo of Vaucanson's duck, showing some of the workings of the original mechanism.

More on Vaucanson and his creations can be found in these books:
* Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life
* Crescendo of the Virtuoso: Spectacle, Skill, and Self-Promotion in Paris during the Age of Revolution

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

very nice duck :)

September 22, 2011 at 6:43 AM  

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