Jaquet-Droz Automata in Neuchatel, Switzerland

IMG_0833, originally uploaded by dynamicsubspace.

When Y and I were in Switzerland over the summer, I made a point to visit the Musee d’Art et d’Histoire in Neuchatel, Switzerland. The main reason that I wanted to make that trek from Laussane was to see the Jaquet-Droz automata: the musician, the draftsman, and the writer. Built in the 18th century, these mechanical beings are capable of complex tasks reflected in their names. Using complex and precise mechanisms, the writer can be programmed to write script, the draftsman can reproduce various drawings, and the musician can play her instrument. The musician is perhaps the most intriguing, because she is the most lifelike in her gestures, movements, and even replication of breathing. Unfortunately, the automata are only turned on for demonstrations once a month, and we had missed that month’s demonstration by about a week. Nevertheless, I was honored to see these fantastic creations in person.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.