A small C-programm has been developed to simulate the walking mechanism of Jansens’s creatures. All legs in a assembly on one side have a common fixed hub. Every leg is connected via two bones to a rotating mechanism, which synchronizes and drives the movement of the legs. The program generates the locations of the joints between all “bones”, the trace of the foot and rotating driving mechanism. The output is piped into the plot program gnuplot to visualize and animate the movement.
Reidar Finsrud, another very talented mixture of painter, sculptor and inventor claims, that he built a perpetuum mobile sculpture.
Of course we do not believe him but the device is really tricky and amazing …
Our latest product: Inspired by Buddhist prayer wheels, Chinese lampions, experimenting with paper folding …: An illuminated and rotating lampion driven by a candle. Or more technically: a simple demonstration of the conversion of heat into a rotational movement i.e. kinetic energy.
Theo Jansen whom I visited about 5 years ago in his atelier in the Netherland is an engineer, mechanician, sculptor … an artist. While offering a nice cup of tea he explained his main project of the last 15 years. Starting with a computer simulation he calculated the right lengthes of the elements of a mechanical linkage that is able to convert a rotation in a kind of walking movement. Lifting a foot, putting it in front, striking it … After he found the right proportions for the linkage of one leg he combined several of those legs to build the walking mechanism. The movement of all the legs is synchronized via a connection to the main rotation axis via an individual phase shift. Big wing like sails capture the wind’s energy to drive the whole walking mechanism.
I could not resist to make an own simulation (C-programm and gnuplot visualization) of the mechanism:
Bus this is merely the theoretical approach. Here is the real thing, see by yourself … wow …