This is "Percy The Ping - Pong Porter" Version 2. The original Percy I built in 2007 was designed by Chris Shute the Instructions were originally published in Constructor Quarterly magazine
This later version was designed by
Les Pattison and is only loosely based on the original and has a completely different operating mechanism, only Percy is more or less the same and he seems to enjoy his new position. The original had great appeal but I think this is even better and I found it easier to set up. The automaton (Percy) crouches down, picks up a ping-pong ball that drops into his arms from the bottom rails, moves up and sideways on a skate board dropping it on the top rails, before descending and sliding back starting the sequence over again.
The model was a big hit when I frequently exhibited it at the Museum of Power at Langford near Maldon. The anticipation that Percy might drop a ball adds to his appeal especially when ran very slowly but he ran for hours missing very few balls. This in fact was caused by him not being level so I added two adjustable feet to lift him up a few millimetres. Great care needs to be taken in the adjustment of Percy's arms and in getting the clearance correct as his arms pass over the top rails.
Percy the Ping Pong Porter is built mainly from zinc and 1970s Binns Road yellow parts.