Archive for February 10th, 2016


AutomataI came across this film  early this morning and was immediately intrigued.  It’s a film of an automata, a hand-crafted machine made by Swedish artist/craftsman Per Helldorff (his site can be seen here) that has a figure playing the old shell game, the classic con game using three shells or cups and a ball or pea.  The operator puts a ball under one of the cups and shifts them around while the sucker–oops, I mean bettor– tries to follow the motion and pick the final location of the ball.  It’s a ruse that has literally  been around since the times of ancient Greece.

We love to be tricked, don’t we?

I sat and watched this several times, trying to figure out the mechanics behind the trick and can’t quite get it.  I think there must be two  balls and a magnet or  a catch of some sort.  Take a look at see what you think.  I’ve also included a few more of Mr. Helldorff’s other automata.  Just lots of fun.

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