Brenna is a writer, radio fiend, and filmmaker who lives in Brooklyn. She hails from the Adirondack Mountains, where she makes frequent getaways for ice-fishing, hunting, and chopping wood.
Monkbot is our affectionate nickname for a mechanical man commissioned by King Philip II of Spain almost 450 years ago. We tell the clockwork model's story in our Ghost Stories episode -- if you haven't heard it, take a listen while you check out these close-ups, and watch some silent footage of Monkbot in action:
A robe-less close-up of Monkbot -- his eyeballs and mouth move, along with his arms and feet, when he's wound up:
Monkbot's workings from behind -- notice his steering wheel / rudder:
A surprisingly creepy shot of Monkbot's insides:
Liz and David Todd work on Monkbot in 1999:
Some silent footage of Monkbot making his rounds:
A translucent model from the Smithsonian gives us x-ray vision:
Inside Monkbot's head:
Here's a diagram of the intricacies behind his eyes and jaw:
W. David Todd
A breakdown of the parts that power the stepping motion, and Monkbot's left arm:
W. David Todd
A portrait of Don Carlos, the prince whose illness led to Monkbot's creation:
Public Domain. Alonso Sánchez Coello / Public Domain via WikiMediaCommons
You can find more about Monkbot at Elizabeth King's website Clockwork Prayer, including the engraving she mentions of Don Carlos on his sickbed.
Unless otherwise noted, all images courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.