Maakrapu Is A Buggy Drawn By A Five-Legged Beast

A man riding a buggy pulled by a wooden contraption

The steampunk aesthetic can take on many forms, and while pipes, valves, and boilers can look great, having complicated machinery with lots of moving parts really makes your project shine. A team of steampunk enthusiasts over at Tampere Hacklab did this by building a vehicle named Maakrapu. It’s a two-wheeled buggy that looks like it’s being pulled forward by some kind of five-legged creature. The extremely smooth motion of its legs conjures up images of lobsters or crabs (“Maakrapu” means “land crab” in Finnish), and is also reminiscent of Theo Jansen’s Strandbeesten.

The wooden legs are linked together with a metal crankshaft, which was welded together from plasma-cut parts. A steering wheel is included to orient the legs in the direction of travel, although the actual steering of the vehicle is done through differential braking. An earlier version had no propulsion and was meant for downhill riding only, but this latest model comes with an electric motor and a battery, making it actually somewhat useful as an urban runabout.

The video embedded below shows the design of the Maakrapu as well as a long drive from the center of Tampere back to the Hacklab. If you like vehicles with lots of little moving legs like this, check out the Strandbeest Bicycle. For a more literal “steam”-punk experience, try this steam-powered bike.

18 thoughts on “Maakrapu Is A Buggy Drawn By A Five-Legged Beast

    1. What is wrong with you, that thing is great fun, and not a Strandbeast, its reminiscent of one perhaps, but by that argument I’m sick of all these wheeled things, they are all the same, its so boring….

      Seems like this needs a few upgrades before it could be considered particularly practical, but it is very definitely cool, and inspiring.

  1. > “Maakrapu” means “land crab” in Finnish

    It is indeed a compound word based on the Finnish words for “land” and “crab”, but “maakrapu” would translate to “landlubber”. A witty and appropriate name for the project :)

  2. Now make this with steel legs that come to a bone piercing point, with holes in them for gass flames to flow out, and make the linkage strong enough to provide the motive force itself. Flaming steel crab death carriage from hell, klvt 🤘

    I get that Straandbeest is similar- but that this uses Klaan linkages. I am not sad that there are more legged walking contraptions like this, I never tire of them.

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