Turning Archive 2007
>I read Slashdot every day to get my news. Most of it is techie stuff, but they cover a good range of subjects. Today they have a link to an article from New Scientist magazine about a programmable robot from 60 A.D. (That's pretty darn old.)
It basically works using a weight, gravity and some string to turn wheels on 2 independent axes. It changes directions by looping over a peg on one of the axes to change the wrap of the string.
This could be a pretty cool turning project, in a smaller form. Nice little desktop novelty.
The New Scientist article requires a subscription to get the part about this particular robot.
But another page shows a video example of a version of the robot built by one of the writers at New Scientist, along with a fair explanation of how it works.