More info about TEDxNASA (Technology, Entertainment, and Design where x=independently organized).
This robot was designed and built by Alicia Hill, an electronics student at Olympic College, as her final project.
This was a little experiment we did in the electronics lab using a neon sign transformer. The transformer was suspended from the laboratories drop ceiling through insulators.
The arc forms when the air ionizes at the closest point at the bottom and the plasma arc rises due to the heat. As the plasma arc rises it is spread wider by the angle of the electrodes. The arc is broken when the distance becomes too large to sustain it, then immediately begins again at the closest point.
Here's a guy that likes to play with electricity. He calls it Electrickery.
These folks were hired for the Pat Metheny Orchestrion
The Artist, Felix Thorn created this machine. The video was filmed by Tom Swindell, Directed by Tom Mansfield and edited by Chris Barnet.
This is a long video, but it has a lot of basic information useful to the electronics tech, including component identification and soldering techniques.