Monday, August 29, 2005

The Pneumatics of HERO OF ALEXANDRIA

One of the hundreds of inventions by Heron, who is one of the fathers of Automata. The doors of a temple are opened (and closed) by the fire in the altar. Heron lived 10-70 AD. His ideas have inspired and inspire inventors, tinkerers and certainly puppeters. Leonardo and other artist-engineers from the Renaissance (like Brunelleschi) tried their hands at some of his descriptions.
See this apparatus that sets figurines in motion by heat.
This next site is one of my favorites, since it is a translation from the greek of his "Pneumatics". Check it out! I am sure you will want to build one of those. The following pic is a modern version of his "Aeolipile", perhaps one of the first steam engines. It revolves at more than 3500 rpm!

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