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

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

End Connectors
- 20 tan lock

Rods
- 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.

Comments

author
SirDaftBunny (author)2016-06-11

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

author
ninjalim (author)2014-09-18

does it have to be a treker moteor

author
Kred14 (author)2013-08-16

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

author
danielhone9 (author)2013-04-12

on the video it looks like its doing the moonwalk

author
freeza36 (author)2012-01-18

theo jansens dont have motors though

author
Anybodysguess (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.
AWESOME!

author
aashilrv (author)2011-03-20

LOL It almost looks like a moon walk.

author
Franky14 (author)2010-06-21

what are the 3 black rods

author

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

author
snow clones (author)2010-06-12

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

author
MattGyver92 (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

author
dombeef (author)MattGyver922010-04-11

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

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

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

author

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

author
The Great Knex Warrior (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.

author
Your Average Guy (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.

author

oompa loompa WAS smart, now he is just average.

author

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

author
riku1 (author)2009-05-27

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

untitled.bmp
author
Miles Tails Prower (author)riku12009-07-25

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

author
riku1 (author)2009-05-27

add more detailed instructions plz and if possable state substitution pieces

author
knexsuperbuilderfreak (author)2008-12-10

where can i get that motor

author

Idk if its still sold its like a treckor or something

author
An Villain (author)Wafflicious2009-05-07

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

author
The Great Knex Warrior (author)2009-04-09

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

author
smilee (author)2009-03-22

can you use a different motor???

author
florina19martie (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.

author
Miles Tails Prower (author)2009-01-24

crestind, Are you Dutch? 'Cause I am.

author
stale56 (author)2008-12-23

this guy i smart, he knows what hes talking about

author
grevious (author)2008-10-17

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

author
crestind (author)grevious2008-10-17

What do you mean?

author
grevious (author)crestind2008-10-17

is a strandbeast a real thing? or is not?

author
WoD5 (author)grevious2008-11-23

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.

author
grevious (author)WoD52008-11-25

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

author
Your Average Guy (author)2008-08-21

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

author

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

author

what about with three wind up motors?

author

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

author

Ok thanks, yeah i just figured that out.

author
Oompa-Loompa (author)2008-08-06

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

author
straandbest.es (author)2008-06-26

Hello,

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

Regards.

author
NajaMushrooms (author)2008-04-11

Wow, I am Amazed! :D

author
Sypran (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

IMG_1176.JPG
author
Kaiven (author)2008-02-29

can i use a classic motor? :/

author
crestind (author)Kaiven2008-03-02

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

author
yakumokobe (author)2008-02-23

AMAZING!!!

author
theperson2 (author)2008-01-29

anyone want me to post a knex walking machine

author
the_burrito_master (author)2007-12-29

coming soon! one +rating.

park 52.jpg

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