Sagar Mohite is a computational artist and an engineer based in New York City. His work has been an exploration in combining principles of design and computational sciences to generate visualizations.

Posts from the Automata Category

[Draft Proposal for Automata Finals]


The Tectonicus is an automaton that responds in real-time to earthquakes occurring all over the planet.


Personal curiosity to realize how many tectonic plate movements occur in a day and how the ground that we feels to be strong and sturdy is actually floating around on the Asthenosphere.


  • Keeping the look and feel of the outcome autonomous and classic. In other words, even if at some point it is responding to a particular event, it should appear that it does so on its own accord and is not being told to do so by a microcontroller or any other device.
  • Keeping it small.


  • To be obtained as ATOM or GeoJSON feeds which are updated every 5 minutes from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake web service.

Possible iterations-

  1. Person shaking and falling depending on the magnitude of the quake.
  2. A world map on which a person with a hammer hangs. He jumps and hits the hammer to the location where the Earthquake occurs (location specific).
  3. A globe producing certain kind of an anthropomorphic response in any Earthquake occurrence event (neither location nor magnitude specific).
  4. A liquid container with the world map as it bottom. The liquid ripples near the epicenters. (location and magnitude specific
  5. A set of hammers hitting a hard clay block (again magnitude specific).
+ high-res version

Making a Timid Box

The idea of a timid box originally nested from the notion of a living hockey puck which gets hit hard frequently and so is afraid of humans in general. The following is a 3D render of the first concept. It roams around slowly and conspicuously in areas of the room and immediately hides its top shelf having its eyes if it detects danger.


[This post is for personal documentation purposes only and may not be self explanatory]

This is an alternative method for a achieving a three dimensional actuation using only two motors. I am using a solenoid for switching between two different planes of motion (say x-y and y-z).

Required –

  • 2 Bipolar Stepper Motors 12V/350mA (I prefer a minimum torque of 0.2 Nm)
  • 2 lead screws with shaft couplers.
  • 2 pairs of rails with grips and brushes.
  • 1 solenoid for interlocking and switching planes of motion.

Disadvantages –
The motion is not a continuous 3D motion and the speed is much slower as compared to an xyz-gantry using 3 motors. In this setup, it is impossible to travel from point (x1, y1, z1) to (x2, y2, z2). Instead it travels as follows –  (x1, y1, z1) -> (x2, y2, z1) -> (x2, y2, z2).

2D 3D actuation

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