Introduction: K'nex Strandbeest

A motor powered Strandbeest made from K'nex!

Strandbeests, which means "beach beasts," are a type of kinetic sculpture made by Theo Jansen. These sculptures are able to walk with only wind power. After designing the walkers with a special algorithm, he races them on the beach to measure their fitness and incorporates the best traits to modify improve the design. The designs grow more complex over time, and have artificial stomachs, obstacle detection and other features. This video should give you an overview.

Here is a video of my Strandbeest. It has terrible traction on concrete, and the motor is a bit underpowered.

Step 1: Gather Pieces

- 12 white
- 60 yellow
- 12 red
- 10 orange
- 80 grey

End Connectors
- 20 tan lock

- 3 black
- 36 red
- 72 yellow
- 30 blue
- 20 green

Motors and Wheels
- 1 trekker motor

Step 2: Design

K'nex was a limitation in the design, as the rod lengths only came in certain lengths. Creating intermediate lengths with rods and connectors would weaken the structure and increase weight. The lengths used here can be modified, but the K'nex motors will probably be too weak to power anything larger. Also the joints were not entire pieces, so the ends would twist a great deal, requiring a heavy double-layer design.

Keep in mind that this is a very very basic design. It does not have numerous legs, so the movement is very unstable. More legs can be added by simply attaching legs at different points along the central axle.

Step 3: Build Basic Structures

Build these basic structures of the leg.

Step 4: Build a Leg

Combine the elements from the previous step. Note the different layers the pieces are on in the third image.

Step 5: Build Second Half of Leg

Build and complete the legs. Note which layer each component is on.

Step 6: Build the Truss

Built the truss and attach components.

Step 7: Build the Opposite Side

The Strandbeest is symmetrical, so now build the other side, but reflect the layering of your pieces.


SirDaftBunny made it! (author)2016-06-11

Very cool, although halfway through construction I ran out of several different pieces. Your piece count was WAY off.

ninjalim made it! (author)2014-09-18

does it have to be a treker moteor

Kred14 made it! (author)2013-08-16

adding more legs will help with the moon-walking, increasing the friction between the feet and the floor/ground

danielhone9 made it! (author)2013-04-12

on the video it looks like its doing the moonwalk

freeza36 made it! (author)2012-01-18

theo jansens dont have motors though

Anybodysguess made it! (author)2011-09-29

This is cool, this is the next thing I was going to attempt after I took apart my K'nex clock.

aashilrv made it! (author)2011-03-20

LOL It almost looks like a moon walk.

Franky14 made it! (author)2010-06-21

what are the 3 black rods

Senior Waffleman made it! (author)Senior Waffleman2011-01-03

the strengthened black rods are used to connect the to pairs of leg he used in the strandbeast, if you dont have any, use the grey/orange long knex rods

snow clones made it! (author)2010-06-12

You are insanely smart, and this thing is truly "beest"!

MattGyver92 made it! (author)2010-02-14

Such fascinating examples of kinetic art! Can they be ridden like a bicycle and steered? Could they hold my weight? GAH! I have to find out more! =P

dombeef made it! (author)dombeef2010-04-11

 Try with pvc pipe.
Here is a template i made for the strandbeest designs 

Strandbeests Leg.png
MoonlightWolf made it! (author)2010-01-21

The walking mechanism you are using is called a ''Clan Linkage''

iprefermuffins made it! (author)iprefermuffins2010-02-04

Actually, a Klann Linkage seems to be pretty different from the linkage used in Jansen's Strandbeests. Here is a comparison:

The Great Knex Warrior made it! (author)2009-09-15

i made a six-legged strandbeest. it walks perfectly in a straight line, i will try to get a picture or a vid on youtube.

Your Average Guy made it! (author)2008-08-21

Same as Oompa-Loompa. I am definitely making one of these. (I just need a motor first) I have thousands of pieces, but no motors. Very sad.

An Villain made it! (author)An Villain2009-07-30

oompa loompa WAS smart, now he is just average.

srhadaham made it! (author)srhadaham2008-12-10

I got my motors from roller coaster sets, they have lots of rods and a motor. Just make sure it isn't a plug in model if you are going for something mobile

riku1 made it! (author)2009-05-27

what motor is that the 12v one??????? i only have the motor below.

Miles Tails Prower made it! (author)Miles Tails Prower2009-07-25

It's 6 volt with 4 AA batteries. I have one. Double as powerful and has two speeds.

riku1 made it! (author)2009-05-27

add more detailed instructions plz and if possable state substitution pieces

knexsuperbuilderfreak made it! (author)2008-12-10

where can i get that motor

Wafflicious made it! (author)Wafflicious2009-02-20

Idk if its still sold its like a treckor or something

An Villain made it! (author)An Villain2009-05-07

all terrain trekker and no it is not sold anymore but you can get it at amazon or something like that


ok =)

The Great Knex Warrior made it! (author)2009-04-09

you have made the crank move the wrong way to the legs.

smilee made it! (author)2009-03-22

can you use a different motor???

florina19martie made it! (author)2009-01-30

It's an interesting creation and can be improved. I wan't to buid such a thing on my on and thank you for informations.

Miles Tails Prower made it! (author)2009-01-24

crestind, Are you Dutch? 'Cause I am.

stale56 made it! (author)2008-12-23

this guy i smart, he knows what hes talking about

grevious made it! (author)2008-10-17

ummm... i looked at the video and now im confused, ar these things actually real...?

crestind made it! (author)crestind2008-10-17

What do you mean?

grevious made it! (author)grevious2008-10-17

is a strandbeast a real thing? or is not?

WoD5 made it! (author)WoD52008-11-23

these are very real but there not alive they simpley have a bunch of simple sensors like tubes kenected to botles, to sence the water, and a BIOS (basic imput output) toproseses left and right or 1s and 0s. but i could understand your disbelief. there quite amazing machines.

grevious made it! (author)grevious2008-11-25

wow they do seem very simple for there functions, ill have to look deeper into these...

Your Average Guy made it! (author)2008-08-21

Srry for double comment, can I make one of these move with a wind up?

crestind made it! (author)crestind2008-08-21

It won't work. They're nowhere near powerful enough.

Your Average Guy made it! (author)Your Average Guy2008-08-22

what about with three wind up motors?

crestind made it! (author)crestind2008-08-22

They'll start off strong and lose power very quickly, so you'll probably only get one revolution or so. It needs continuous power.

Your Average Guy made it! (author)Your Average Guy2008-08-24

Ok thanks, yeah i just figured that out.

Oompa-Loompa made it! (author)2008-08-06

I favorited this so I know where to find it when I take apart my sniper rifle. Really cool.

author made it! (author)2008-06-26


The new official spanish website of strandbeest, is ready. This is the link:


NajaMushrooms made it! (author)2008-04-11

Wow, I am Amazed! :D

Sypran made it! (author)2008-03-02

nice i made one once, try renforceing the legs, thats what i did (also it helps if you make big legs for some reason... anyway here is a model i created that is defrent from that dutch dudes one ill put a vid on soon on my page thing

Kaiven made it! (author)2008-02-29

can i use a classic motor? :/

crestind made it! (author)crestind2008-03-02

No, it's not strong enough. I'll be making a lightweight model soon.

yakumokobe made it! (author)2008-02-23


theperson2 made it! (author)2008-01-29

anyone want me to post a knex walking machine

the_burrito_master made it! (author)2007-12-29

coming soon! one +rating.

park 52.jpg

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