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Room for Wonder

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Published on Jan 24, 2013

Our second video was shot in Austin, Texas at the home of astronaut, collector, scientist, and computer-game designer/pioneer Richard Garriott. Richard has assembled one of the finest collections of automata in the world and was kind enough to allow us to share his collection with you. Brad Henderson, a close friend and confidant, is our guide through the house and collection.

There is a scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory where Gene Wilder slowly opens the door to the actual factory floor for the first time. You see the amazing sights of the chocolate factory itself, but you also see the looks of wonder on the faces of the children and their parents. Entering the automata room for the first time is a lot like that. As you scan from left to right, you are overwhelmed with visual input and there is a very strong sensation of "Where do we begin?!" Then the process of "hands-on" exploration begins as you turn the cranks, wind the springs and push the levers. At some point, eventually, you catch the eye of the other people in your group that are experiencing the room for the first time and you have no choice but to smile. Technically, it may not be magic, but it's as "magical" as anything you'll ever see.

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