Kinetic Works

A collections of pieces that use movement

Here is a collection of pieces that incorporate some kind of movement. Some can be considered automata and some fall somewhere in between illustrations and kinetic sculptures. There are links to longer posts about particular pieces or videos when appropriate.

Kuroi Gojira (Black Godzilla)

I made this one for a Kaiju themed show at Giant Robot Store. The whole thing is carved out of a block of basswood and the mechanical parts are made with brass tubing and rods. I wanted to keep it simple and it’s somewhat inspired with the nodding pieces made by Paul Spooner. I made a short 1.5 minute process video of its making.

This one was made for a group show at Giant Robot Store titled “Land and Sea”. I was particularly happy with how smooth the mechanism runs on this one thanks to the 4-bar linkage cam follower I used (see the youTube video for a longer explanation). I also tried to use as little glue as possible this time, relying more on screws for assembly and reparability. Videos and pictures can also be found on my Instagram.

Mothra and the Moon

This piece was made for the Kaiju Show at Giant Robot Store. Mothra has a really interesting background story and it’s perhaps⁣ the most benevolent of all Kaiju. She has also been called the “Queen of Monsters”. The black design is a little bit of riff on the female symbol ♀, the moon and Mothra’s own symbol. ⁣ ⁣ On the bottom right corner you can read Mo-Su-Ra in katakana (モスラ) with the font used in one of the 1960’s movies.

Longer video and view of the mechanism on youTube and Instagram.

mothra animated


Magpie Hollow

“Magpie Hollow” uses a very similar mechanism to “Warm heart” below but implemented a little bit more cleanly with some laser cut parts. Short youTube video showing the mechanism here, also on instagram.


Agreeable Flock

“Agreeable flock” is named in honor of Rob Ives‘ agreeable sheep. Instagram video here with a view of symmetric rack and pinion that makes it move.



“Nekoboss” was a laser cut kit I designed combining a cat and the Giant Robot mascot “Big Boss”. I made this page dedicated to the assembly instructions and documentation, you can also watch this short assembly video. I also made a companion wall mounted version that was activated by a motion sensor and powered by a small gear motor. Instagram video of Nekoboss in action here.



Crankies, or moving panoramas display a moving scroll on a small window. I wanted to design a version that would be quick to make using a laser cutter. You can grab the files and read a detailed how to on Instructables. Other examples of the evolution of this design on instagram, here, here, and here.

Interactive Totoro

This Totoro piece was inspired by the scene in the movie where the totoros and the kids are growing some seeds at night. It was made for Giant Robot’s 4 annual Totoro show and there is a longer post with building documentation here, I also got to talk with Donald Bell about it on a short video interview you can see here. And the customary Instagram post.

Laser cut walking man

One of the most popular makes on the series of small machines was this walking man so I designed a laser cuttable version that uses a living hinge as a sprint, feel free to grab the files and make your own.


One month of small machines

There is a detailed post about these here with a longer video and individual images. But in short: I made one a day during a whole month and that helped me discover the expressive qualities of paper when incorporated into moving contraptions. This one minute video is a fun summary:

Drill powered flip book animation

Although this was an intermediate step in a more elaborate project I documented here, the thing that caught everyone’s attention was that I used a drill to try it out. Sometimes the simple things are the best things.


Simple foam core models

This is not the prettiest thing but it’s one of a series of foam core models I made to try out some mechanisms. It’s fun example of low stakes prototype, sometimes you need a little scrappiness in your life.


Warm heart

There is a regrettable story behind this one but I learned my lesson. One of the first “flat” moving illustrations I made.