Category Archives: ROBOTICS

StrandMaus Now Fully Walking

After some work with a Dremel tool, my StrandMaus was able to successfully walk without tipping over after a few steps. See below for the proof:

I ended up cutting a fraction of an inch off of each leg. I don’t remember the exact number, but 5/8 of an inch ring a bell. Anyway, I suspect that the problem (as someone suggested) is that the legs are longer than the original Jansen design.

I wasn’t sure how this happened, since I based the linkage design on his numbers. After considering it though, I believe I put the nodes where each linkage was supposed to end where the holes are (as pictured below). I offset the original lines to allow for the holes, leading to a longer final linkage and thus my problems.


Or so I would assume. Check out the second video below for a slideshow of how this ‘Maus was put together:

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The StrandMaus 8-Legged Jansen Walker


If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ve undoubtedly seen my work on Strandbeest-style walkers, including this one with four legs, and this one with eight. Unfortunately, none of these ‘Beests have actually walked…until now!

The Strandmaus is a derivation of the 8-legged walker, but scaled down. Way down. The idea was to make it small enough to be made on my Zen Toolworks 7×12″ CNC router. I also made it so that that rods powering it were 1/8 inch in diameter. This seemed like a size that would be available, and after a quick search, I came up with this (Amazon).

To power it, I didn’t use wind, like Jansen, but instead used two Servo City gearmotors, which fit perfectly with their 1/8 inch couplings, and were even smaller than I thought they would be.

I wasn’t quite sure how I would set the StrandMaus up for remote control initially, maybe a toy RC car would need to be purchased and sacrificed. One disadvantage would be the weight of the car’s batteries, since cheap models generally are powered by relatively-heavy AA cells. Fortunately, inspiration struck, as I had an Estes 4606 Proto X Quadcopter (Amazon) available with a motor that had burned out (these are really fun, btw). Realizing that Read more »

A New Beest From MDF


Pushing the ‘Beest

If you’ve been following this blog recently, you may have noticed that there are posts about repairing things or trying things out, but not much in the way of original creations. I suppose this isn’t totally original, since this type of walking “beest” isn’t mine, but it may be the first one made out of MDF (medium density fiberboard).

I designed it to walk on eight legs as my first try using only four didn’t really work out walking-wise (but made for a nice display). Usually these kinds of things use legs, but that seemed like too much work both on me and on the motors. Four legs seemed like it almost worked, so eight would work, if not as smooth as twelve. Or so I thought.


Original notes and design on water-jet cut ‘Beest

MDF was selected because is seems to be mechanically more stable than normal plywood, and I arranged for it to be water-jet cut from a CAD file I came up with. This worked quite well, and the water didn’t affect it too much when cut. However, one thing I didn’t consider was that MDF is quite heavy. You can it being tried out, as well as more pictures of the process after the “read more” link thing.

I envisioned Read more »