A travelator, also known as a moving walkway or moving sidewalk, seems like a tricky thing to build in Minecraft, especially when it's zigzagging, but there are really simple autowalks out there (like this one).
For this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to make the travelator featured in this video by Sethbling:
The most immediately notable feature of it is that it uses cake, which is what drew my attention to it.
Travelators work by virtue of the fact that cake is only 3/8ths of a block tall, whereas fenceposts are a full block and a half tall. This means that 1/8th of a fencepost invisibly protrudes up from the top of the cake, pushing those along who stand on it.
WARNING: This travelator, and ones like it, can really only work on single-player games. In multiplayer, the server lag is just too great and they end up just spinning their proverbial wheels without going anywhere. However, in single-player, they work just fine.
Now, let's get started on building this bad boy, because there are quite a few steps.
Start by placing your first two sets of pistons. This will dictate how long your travelator will be! Bear in mind that you can't make it any longer than 12 blocks, which is the maximum number of blocks that can be pushed by a piston.
Note: One set of pistons must be sticky, and one must be non-sticky. Place the sticky piston on whatever side you want the travelator to move toward.
Each set of pistons requires a different type of butt, because they both serve different purposes. The sticky ones need just a 2x2 set of blocks spaced one block-width behind them.
The regular pistons, however, will require two sets of 2x2 blocks stacked on top of each other like a Tetris piece, which is actually called a Tetromino, FYI. Bet you didn't know they had a name!
Now each side gets another set of regular pistons.
The sticky pistons should be flush with their set, like so:
While the other side should have an empty space between them.
You've now built the muscles of your travelator! All that's left is the heart, veins, and teeth, so to speak. Man, that's really kind of a disturbing analogy.
The wiring is kind of complicated, and could probably be condensed. This is how Sethbling built it, however, and I personally tested it out so I know that it works.
Note: All repeaters in these following pictures are set to zero extra delay.
No amount of my telling you what to do will really be a substitute for the visual representation, so here are the pictures of the front and back of the sticky-piston side:
And then here's the front and back of the non-sticky side (aka the origin).
Hopefully those back-and-front pictures will allow you to see how all the wiring should be laid out. It's actually really simple, but looks a little complicated at first. Don't be scared!
Meanwhile, that's pretty much it for the veins. Now on to the teeth!
Your next step is to add the actual teeth of your travelator, by which I mean fenceposts.
You want to lay alternating sets of blocks and fenceposts in pairs of two, side-by-side, like so:
I suggest that you leave one empty row on both the top set and the bottom set, so that your pistons don't accidentally push each other out of the way.
Also, as you can see in the second picture above, you can go ahead and connect the wiring between your two engines.
The heart of this machine is a clock, so it's our job to give it one. If you're confused about clocks in general, check out our earlier article on clocks.
Go a few blocks back from your wiring that connects the two engines and make your clock like so:
Now you have to connect your clock to the nearly-complete travelator, so go ahead and run wires from either of the exposed redstone ends into that area between both of the engines. It doesn't matter if it hits the exact middle or not.
Okay, that saying doesn't really work very well. However, this is a great time to add the cake onto the top of your travelator like so:
It's hard to mess this stage up, so you don't need any more instruction from me.
Now you're all set! The only thing left is to start the beast's heart! The easiest way to do that is by making one of these doodads:
All it is, is two blocks of any type, with a redstone torch on top of one, a redstone torch on the side of the other, and some redstone wire between them.
If you place the side-torch last, it will quickly flick on and off, starting your clock! This is how they fit together:
That's it! With your clock started, your travelator should be up and running!
The last thing to do is decorate the cake! I mean, umm, decorate the travelator.
The best thing to do is use half-blocks (aka slabs) because the top of your travelator will always be half a block up due to the cake. So you can put some slabs around it, and decorate it however you'd like.
You can use, umm, rainbows? How did that get there?!
Here's a look from afar:
There you go!
The build seems complicated, but it's really a cakewalk once you figure out how to do it!
Yeah, I know, I was saving that cakewalk joke for the end.
Meanwhile, if you have any other designs for a travelator of any variety, please don't hesitate to post your own tutorial showing us how it's done!