Reconstruction of an Ancient Blossoming Flower Automaton with a Circular-arc Cam

  • Yu-Hsun ChenEmail author
  • Marco Ceccarelli
  • Hong-Sen Yan
Conference paper
Part of the Mechanisms and Machine Science book series (Mechan. Machine Science, volume 73)


The herein investigated blossoming flower automaton is one of the ingenious mechanical devices made in the 18th century to entertain people. Although this automaton is still preserved in the Palace Museum in Beijing, its inner works are generally not open by the public, and the mechanical structure is unknown. A reconstruction design procedure for ancient automata with unclear mechanical structure is provided, including mechanism design and performance analysis. One of the reconstructed mechanisms of the blossoming flower automaton is selected, and an easy-making cam with circular-arc profile is used. The motion characteristics are checked not only by computer-aid modeling and simulation but also through the prototype manufacturing and testing with 3D printing components and image/video analysis software, and the numerical results are presented for a performance evaluation and characterization.


Ancient automaton mechanism reconstruction design prototype testing 


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The authors are grateful to the Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei, Taiwan) under Grant MOST 106-2221-E-006 -100 -MY3 for the support of this work. The first author wishes to gratefully acknowledge the Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei, Taiwan) through grant 105-2917-I-006-008 for permitting her period of study at LARM of Cassino University in the A.Y. 2016-17 within a double PhD degree program.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNational Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Robot MechatronicsUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

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