The hands inflate and pat you slowly moving up and then down. I enjoy watching
people use this machine, but its never taken as much money as some of the others as you
have to be quite bold to try it with other people watching you. Im sure I would be
far too shy if I came across it, not knowing anything about it.
Technically the most interesting thing about the machine is the
blower-sucker unit, straight out of a 1960s mainframe data store the big tape
recorder things - the unit sucked the tape down a tube to take up the slack because the
drive changed direction so fast.
It was also the last coin-op machine I made
controlled by a cam
timer. This is an ingenious electromechanical device I used to buy from industrial
surplus shops. The motor on the end turns the drum round slowly. This switches the line of
microswitches on and off at any point set by adjusting the cams.
Two further gloves shoot out to check
you between the legs.
You are finally told if you are clean or suspect.
TEST YOUR NERVE
Put your hand in the cage and hold then red button for as long as you dare. The dog starts
panting and the dial starts revolving. When its about half way round the dog starts
dribbling saliva (warm foamy water) on your hand. If you hang on, the dog finally barks
I made the dog for something completely different and had him in the
workshop at the time when there was a series of scares about rotweilllers biting people. I
tried him out in the local craft shop but he was banned after a few weeks because he
brought in the wrong sort of customer, and people often leapt back, knocking over pots and
doing other damage. He then went to Cabaret mechanical theatre and is now on the pier at
THE EXECUTIVE DECISION MAKER
This started as a prop for an educational BBC TV
programme on statistics, but got converted to a slot machine. The coin slides down the
chute and is then shot in the air by a pneumatic ram. It lands on the tray at the top,
which then tips up, sliding the coin in front of a sensor. I polished all the heads of the
coins, so the sensor can tell if its heads or tails. Finally the tray returns and the coin
drops into the top of the tube magazine. Its all made of scrap the
compressor is from an old fridge. I spent ages trying to stop coins falling off at each
stage of the process. About one in 4 still fall off so its not entirely practical.
Watch a video of the executive decision maker in 'Some