I happened upon a graphic novel about “The Turk,” a chess playing automaton. The Clockwork Game, by Jane Irwin is an ongoing work with updates on Thursdays.
Not coincidentally, this site is named after a book written about The Turk.
LEGO lends itself well to building automatons. Creating various forms of motion for both practical and artistic pursuits is very straight-forward. Having such a flexible, modular system frees your mind allowing you to focus on the creative aspects of your projects.