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The Mechanical Turk Automaton

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Author Topic: The Mechanical Turk Automaton  (Read 542 times)
Orheim
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« on: December 30, 2010, 02:45:09 am »

The interior also contained a pegboard chess board connected to a pantograph-style series of levers that controlled the model's left arm. The metal pointer on the pantograph moved over the interior chessboard, and would simultaneously move the arm of the Turk over the chessboard on the cabinet. The range of motion allowed the director to move the Turk's arm up and down, and turning the lever would open and close the Turk's hand, allowing it to grasp the pieces on the board. All of this was made visible to the director by using a simple candle, which had a ventilation system through the model.[17] Other parts of the machinery allowed for a clockwork-type sound to be played when the Turk made a move, further adding to the machinery illusion, and for the Turk to make various facial expressions.[18] A voice box was added following the Turk's acquisition by Mälzel, allowing the machine to say "Échec!" (French for "check") during matches.[4]

An operator inside the machine also had tools to assist in communicating with the presenter outside. Two brass discs equipped with numbers were positioned opposite each other on the inside and outside of the cabinet. A rod could rotate the discs to the desired number, which acted as a code between the two.[19]
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