Tin Spider is 13-foot Rideable Strandbeest

Arguably our best find at Bay Area Maker Faire this year was the Tin Spider built by [Scott Parenteau]. He constructed the 13-foot tall vehicle to take with him on his very first trip to Burning Man back in 2012. There’s very little information available online so we were excited that [Scott] spent some time speaking with us on Saturday.

The Tin Spider was inspired by the work of two inventors: [Theo Jansen] and [Buckminster Fuller]. The latter is known for his work with geodesic domes which makes up the cockpit of this vehicle. The former is the creator of Strandbeest, a legged kinetic sculpture well-known by our regular readers.

The dome has changed quite a bit since this 2012 video was recorded. [Scott] added an elevator which drops the pilot’s chair down to ground level — replacing the single-column ladder of the original build. Acrylic panels have also been added to increase the pilot’s visibility. [Scott] tells us that it breaks down into manageable parts and can be easily transported on a flatbed truck. The setup process can occupy almost a full day but is greatly simplified if assembled on very level ground.

The Robotic House

As if that wasn’t enough, [Scott] was showing off a second major build as well. His Robotic house is inspired by [Buckminster Fuller’s] ideas of efficient, automated, and easy to clean living spaces. Unfortunately we didn’t photograph the sparse insides, but there is very little to see. The back wall is a flat panel that can be folded down into seating, and the floor is a drain assembly for showering and cleaning the module. But don’t forget, this is robotic. Enter the pod and [Scott’s] fabricated gearing will rotate the it so you are laying flat. There is even some roll control to ensure this 2-person unit doesn’t cause you to sleep on top of your companion. The Robot House is demonstrated in the second portion of our video above.

27 thoughts on “Tin Spider is 13-foot Rideable Strandbeest

    1. Why not all three? This guy has waaaay too much free time on his hands.Thankfully, he knows how to squeeze every last bit of ‘holy crap, this is awesome’ out of them.I mean, DAMN. I’m still waiting on someone to drop the cash on a ’13 Ghosts’-esque smartglass tiny house.

      1. I would have enjoyed seeing the inside of the robotic house as well. Filming it would probably not have been that bad of a use of his time, since it’d have benefited not only you but everyone watching the video. However, I can also understand you not wanting to take more of his time in the face of everyone else waiting. Looking forward to the pictures!

    1. as is customary lol…what better to do than feed a bunch of detail oriented people almost nothing for information or even wow factor. hackaday is nothing like it used to be. I see more posts to advertise gear within the store or the cartoon of which I know im at least not remotely interested in. Im certainly no one special but it’d be nice to not see everything go so corporate greed-poorly inform style.

      1. Oh come on, my favorite part about hackaday is making an ultra hip pop culture reference in regard to the CERN picture and winning a trinket for my complete un-originality.

        In all seriousness it’s our fault, I should have had plenty to be written about, but real hard research takes time.

  1. I can see where the term ‘spider’ comes from with the big dome in the middle but this is more like a sideways crab in the way it moves.

    It would be very interesting to see the maths of this used to make something that has a second dimension of movement by adding left to right as well as back to front. Then it would definitely look like a spider.

  2. From the speed of the thing I assume if he heists a bank this won’t be his getaway vehicle but he did say it uses just two horsepower so that makes me wonder if with the proper gearing someone could build a human powered, peddled strandbeast?

  3. “Learn how to Draw” – best piece of advice! And what’s not to love about a Strandbeest mechanism. I made a small model Strandbeest and it draws a lot of attention at our local maker space. Starts a lot of conversations.

  4. I want to see one of those things negotiate a series of turns of varying radii. They need a way to alter the stroke or step length, and also height for traveling across terrain less flat than a parking lot.

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