“The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds.” -Theo Jansen
Theo Jansen has been creating strandbeest ( “beach beasts”) since 1990. These are moving kinetic structures that resemble walking animals or in simple words - wind-driven walking machines! The basic system is made using two triangles with two quadrilaterals along. Here is a video showing the evolution of strandbeest.
“I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind. Over time, these skeletons have become increasingly better at surviving the elements such as storms and water and eventually I want to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.”
So, how does Jansen’s linkage look like? You can explore the below link to know more.
- It’s a planar leg mechanism
- Used in a variety of kinetic sculptor conceptualized by Theo Jansen
- It simulates smooth walking mechanism using a simple rotary input
- Application: mobile robotics, gait analysis
- Mechanism has only 1-DoF ( degree of freedom)
There are innumerable projects which are out in open-source made using this mechanism. However, as much magnificent and fascinating it looks in animation or while looking at various videos of other projects, it will be even awesome if one can attempt to make something leveraging the mechanism to give us a deeper sense of how does the mechanism works.
I along with Jude (@jtd) started to tinker around with the mechanism and here are some of the very preliminary attempts. Even though the project is work in progress ( we plan to make a small walking machine and then a larger one which a person can pedal), its movement captures the attention and imagination of people of all age groups!
We really look forward to the community members sharing their ideas, designs and artifacts with us here and also taking action locally by showing it to more people around. This is definitely going to bring gleam in the eyes and smile on the faces once anyone gets a chance to enjoy the sheer joy of playing(making) the mechanism!