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.
The Flap Turbine (FT) is a novel type of vertical axis turbine (VAT) where the blades are made of movable flaps. These movable flaps, when combined together, act as a sail or blade for the VAT. This type of turbine is also known as a check valve turbine because of the check valve like behavior of the moving flaps. When the sail is moving in the downwind direction, the flaps are closed and will not allow air (water if the turbine operates in the water) to pass through the sail. However, when the sail is moving in the upwind direction the flaps will be in the open position and allow air (or water) pass through the sail.
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 …