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The Automaton in the Amazing Machine Exhibit at The Franklin Institute.

Amazing Machine is temporarily closed for cleanup due to recent flooding.

Amazing Machine - Temporarily Closed

Explore the amazing world of machines! You’ll be amazed at the similarities between the machines from our collection and the ones you use every day. “Exploded” views of everyday machines provide a look at their interior that vividly demonstrates how simple components can power complex mechanisms. Which machines are practical, and which are purely whimsical? Test your engineering skills and use gears, linkages, cams, and pulleys to create your own new machine. Discover how each component affects the design and function of the entire device. A highlight of this exhibit is the pre-electronic mechanical robot, Maillardet's Automaton (FI Cat. #1663)—an amazing machine that inspired the award-winning children’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret and film Hugo.

Children operating a crane in the Amazing Machine exhibit at The Franklin Institute.

Try Your Hand at Operating a Crane
Use the crane to move blocks from one target to another. It takes power and control to get the job done right.  

Antique sewing machine in the Amazing Machine exhibit at The Franklin Institute.

Find Out What Makes an Antique Sewing Machine "Sew" Special
Belts and pulleys connect the motor to cranks that drive the needle up and down. But what pushes the fabric forward?

Cams make music interactive in the Amazing Machine exhibit at The Franklin Institute.

See How Cams are Used to Make Music
Discover how moving the cam placement can change the tune of your song.