After three huge mutant vehicle builds, [Tom Wilson] thought: “why not build another?” This time he decided to weld together a (comparatively) smaller more agile two-seater he calls the Boxer. We covered [Tom]’s previous quadbike, Big Dog, which features a similar tube frame, full suspension, and the familiar culvert pipe wheels. This time around [Tom] actually built an extensive jig out of plywood to ease in the build process. The Boxer is much lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at 125lbs Vs the Big Dog’s 490lbs, and about four feet shorter. The shorter lighter vehicle makes for a much more agile ride. If you are interested in building your own quadbike [Tom]’s site is a really good resource with tons of detail.
We really look forward to seeing this latest creation at burning man, check out a video of the (comparatively speedy) Boxer in action after the jump!
Continue reading “Quadbike: Smaller Is Faster”
While Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog is pretty impressive, check out this video of the US Army’s first attempt at a quadruped vehicle. Created in the early 1960s with the help of GE, this Army experiment was the first successful attempt of replicating a four-legged animal with a mechanical machine.
This “Walking Truck” was driven by a single operator who moved each of the vehicle’s legs using force-feedback hydraulic levers. Choreographing the machine’s movement was quite complicated, and during testing the Army found that the operator needed a mental break after only 15 minutes of use. As you can see in the video, the vehicle flexes some serious muscle. It kicks a Jeep out of its way with little effort, but it is still able to gently step on a light bulb without breaking it, due to the level of tactile feedback received by the operator.
If it weren’t for government budget cuts, we could be living out [George Lucas’] dream of AT-AT based combat right this minute!
[Tom Wilson] has finished his latest human powered quadcycle. The BigDog, as its called, seats 4 persons in lawn chairs who pedal to their destination. We say latest, for [Tom] also made a slightly smaller version called The DogSled. Some improvements include being taller (8 feet total), larger (11 feet by 6 feet), and surprisingly lighter (over half the weight, bringing it in to 450 pounds). The build process is just as impressive as the bike itself; using pneumatic disk brakes to golf cart axles to even drainage pipe, its a perfect fit for burning man. Catch a video after the divide.
Continue reading “Quadbike: Bigger Is Better”