Solving The Mystery Of The Maillardet Automaton

Great use of reverse engineering in this project video from Fran Blanche!

A two month long project that fulfills an 8 year long quest to know once and for all what the original writing instrument was for the famous Maillardet Automaton, which is housed at the Franklin Institute here in Philadelphia. The machine was created in the 1790’s, almost certainly as a collaboration between the shops of Jaquet-Droz and Maillardet ~ with the majority of the mechanism designed and manufactured under Jaquet-Droz and the programming (a very large bank of 3-axis cams) created by Maillardet. The automaton is essentially an elaborate 3 dimensional pantograph, and so I use a simple 2-D pantograph in a proof of concept project to replicate the way the Maillardet Automaton originally made its elaborate renderings with very high crisp detail using varying line widths. I conclude this one as Q.E.D. – Quod Erat Demonstrandum!


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 35,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — Moving manufacturing out of China

Wearables — Take control of your LED sequins

Electronics — Current limiting!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: ESP32 Web Workflow for CircuitPython, CircuitPython Day 2022 and more! #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Detect Radiation, ML Baby Monitor, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 8/11/2022 Featuring #adafruit 14-segment LED Alphanumeric Backpack – STEMMA QT!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.