Machinery and computer chips

The use of machines in the field of puppetry is not a modern invention. From the earliest known civilisations, mechanical techniques used for building, transport, or the logistics of canals served, also, to give life to statues of the gods. The animated figures found in a number of Egyptian temples, as well as terracotta figurines from Harappa in the Indus Valley, are testimony to this.

From the Ancient Greeks we know that they developed mechanisms to animate figures, to divide water, and so on. But it is modern Europe of the Industrial Revolution which opened the doors to using increasingly precise machinery in order to animate figures on stage. Advances in clockwork encouraged the appearance of very sophisticated automata, present in all European courts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Simultaneously in Osaka, in Japan, the mechanical theatres of Karakuri Ningyo appeared.

Today, many puppeteers and theatre companies make use of machines and robotics to create characters and visual effects, discovering new materials and taking advantage of current progress in artificial intelligence.