This Handmade Robot “Reads” with Adorable Eyeballs

Jakob Werner’s 'A Machine Learning' questions whether computers can actually learn.
August 14, 2016, 12:05pm
GIF courtesy the artist. Screencaps via

Can a machine actually be intelligent? Can it absorb information? Can it solve problems, or does it simply work around them? Will machines and humans ever become indistinguishable? These are questions that led Jakob Werner to create an ironic automated sculpture out of wood. In A Machine Learning, a pair of large eyeballs simulates the motions of reading and changes the pages in a book. Its quick pace and repetitive movement are comical, parodying the idea that artificial intelligence is intelligent at all.


Werner, a graphic designer and animator, has a special love for creating non-digital pieces. The ability to hold something in his hands is important to him. Because of this, wood is one of his favorite mediums as it can be transformed easily. After taking a class about automation in art, Werner set out to create A Machine Learning, inspired by the work of other automation artists working with wood (including his professor, Sebastian Schimeg). It took him four weeks to complete the design, which is composed of oak, birch, brass tubes, acrylic paint, and a bit of glue. On top of being witty, A Machine Learning is downright adorable. See it in action below.

To learn more about A Machine Learning, click here. Visit Jakob Werner’s website to see more of his work.


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