See This Slick RC Strandbeest Zip Around

Bevel gears used to mount motors vertically.

Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest design is a favorite and for good reason; the gliding gait is mesmerizing and this RC version by [tosjduenfs] is wonderful to behold. Back in 2015 the project first appeared on Thingiverse, and was quietly updated last year with a zip file containing the full assembly details.

All Strandbeest projects — especially steerable ones — are notable because building one is never a matter of simply scaling parts up or down. For one thing, the classic Strandbeest design doesn’t provide any means of steering. Also, while motorizing the system is simple in concept it’s less so in practice; there’s no obvious or convenient spot to actually mount a motor in a Strandbeest. In this project bevel gears are used to mount the motors vertically in a central area, and the left and right sides are driven independently like a tank. A motor driver that accepts RC signals allows the use of an off the shelf RC transmitter and receiver to control the unit. There is a wonderful video of the machine zipping around smoothly, embedded below.

One of the shortcomings of a Strandbeest is that it requires fairly even ground. The legs don’t lift very high, which limits it to flat terrain. That limitation didn’t stop the 13-foot rideable Tin Spider, but one alternative is the Klann Linkage used by Project Octo, a robotic platform intended for rough terrain.

8 thoughts on “See This Slick RC Strandbeest Zip Around

  1. This. Is. Awesome! I love how the two sections give great control and make motion smooth and organic looking. Along with the motorisation it’s two simple, yet effective improvements. The kind of improvements you hate because you didn’t think of them, though they’re so obvious.

  2. Couple questions; Was that a bow or a curtsey at the end? Can you make the vid an endless loop? This could not only get rid of digs or cats but also trick or treaters and inlaws.

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