In 2014, Sarah and I were invited to participate in the Puppetry track of DragonCon. The whole week was a blast. We were asked to lead, or help participate in, a few workshops or panel discussions. The automata above was one that I built to use as a demonstration of mechanics for a "Designing Simple Handcranked Automata" panel that I led.
The basis of most mechanisms are simple machines, such as the lever and the inclined plane. Almost all other analog machines are based around those two simple machines.
While building shadow puppets for a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (in which all the fairy folk were portrayed as Wayang Kulit style shadow puppets), I thought it would be interesting to make a small lobby display showing how some of the mechanisms worked, and how they were rooted in the Lever.