The Venus Flytrap

Kirk Walker, Noah Olmsted, Peter Kappus

The Venus Flytrap automaton is a simple device containing two lobed cams, two pistons, and two levers, all rotated by a crank at the side. The basic premise of the device is that the user turns the crank which rotates the cams, which pushes the pistons up, thereby moving the levers. The main lever on top moves downward as the flytrap opens and then moves upward rapidly as the flytrap closes. The ultimate function is to create a "fly" which dips down into the jaws of a metal flytrap which opens slowly and snaps shut just as the fly narrowly escapes. The automaton has been constructed using found industrial objects such as fuses, magnets, window crank handles, etc. The box is of unfinished MDF held together with cabinet screws.