The What If? Machine was an open weekend held at the Derby Silk Mill Museum
, on February 14th and 15th, to celebrate William Heath-Robinson’s work, the famed eccentric and illustrator known for his ‘wacky’ impossible machines that accomplished simple tasks with over-engineered solutions, and went on to inspire works by the likes of Rowland Emett and Rube Goldberg.
Teams registered to take part in the event, including family teams, local hobbyists and makers, and staff from the Derby Silk Mill.
The What If? Machine building was coordinated by Dominic Morrow, who incorporated several of Kitronik’s products into the builds. These included the Micro USB Breakout Board
, Relay Breakout Boar
d, 5V Solenoid
, and a 4x AA Battery Box.
Creations that featured these items included an aquarium pump to pump water down a long spout, setting off a croquet mallet, which then hit a tennis ball into a mousetrap.
Another example of the machines created on the day was a miniature Strandbeest kit. Powered by an extractor fan, to knock a block onto a switch, tripping a solenoid, and releasing a 2’ helium balloon on completion.
The day was a success overall, with some weird and wonderful inventions built as previously mentioned, that Heath-Robinson would no doubt have been proud of. Initial plans are in place for the event to continue next year, so stay tuned for future details.
Cartoon images created by Sally Thompson
, and used with kind permission from Dominic Morrow.
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