Simple Theo Jansen Mechanism Based Walking Deskbeest





Introduction: Simple Theo Jansen Mechanism Based Walking Deskbeest

you will need an A3 printing paper with the plan printed on it. The plan can be downloaded as PDF from the attachment here.  A4 should work too, though I havent tried. Smaller makes it difficult to work with.

1)Print the plan on A3 printing paper. Cut the legs plan out , fold at the markers, back and forth to make easy hinge points.
Fold and stick the appropriate portions as per the hand drawn plan, matching the section numbers in the drawing with the section numbers in the printed plan. Now you have the legs. Make all eight of them.

the plan and tools...


Step 1: Make the Camshaft With the Sturdy Hubs

2) use a nose plier to make the camshaft with each element being just wide enough to accomodate the width of the legs with the refill hubs. cut the empty plastic pen refiller to make the hubs. cut lengthwise through one side of the refiller pieces to make a slot through which you could insert them nto the cam already created. at the beginning of the lengthwise slit, you may add a V-cut to make it easier to push it in without much force. Use the supersharp surgical type blade  to cut through. The radius of the cam must be the distance from the point of insertion of the cam into the frame (as explained in a later step) till the edge of the frame section which says "m".

The CAM has 6 sections, each successive one at 120 degrees offset to the next. Thus it have three alligned pairs of sections. This allows to have atleast two pairs of legs supporting and moving the mechanism in sync all the time, thus making it stable.

Note: The sections labeled L/2 should have been L actually. Its a typo. There is no mistake in the plan itself. Only a labeling mistake.thanks.

Step 2: Make the Axles to Hold the Legs on Either Sides

3) Create axles using straight pieces of wire.
Create sturdy hinge points on the paper legs by attaching small refill pieces on to the legs as shown in the pictures. Please help yourself. :)
Note: one pic attached shows refiller pieces on the axle without the paper legs attached. This is only for ease of understanding. Finally it will be attached to the legs as shown in the other picture. The refiller pieces must be attached to the legs first and then towards the end of assembly only, the axle will be inserted through them. The images are only for illustration.

Step 3: Make the Frame to Hold Everything Together

4) cut the frame plan from the printout (refer to video) and stick it on to a card...something like a greeting card and then cut fold and stick them together to make it look like the pic below. you should be able to figure this one out!! make a hole at the point shown in the picture for inserting the cam shaft.

Step 4: Attach the Legs to the Camshaft

5)I am not sure how to explain this. refer to the pics. attach all the legs to the cam.

Step 5: Put Everything Together

6) insert the axles into the respective axle hubs. make small bends at either ends of the axle to hold it in place on the frame. Allign the axle with the lines on the frame as shown in the pic and use scotch tape allover to hold it there.

Now, go ahead and rate it up if you like this project!.. thanks for your time :)



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    Very good! It could have a small electric motor...
    The Papercraft Sites will love this, I'm putting a note about it in Nice Paper Toys, and on my Blog:
    A note about it went to my Blog:

    an electric motor and a solar panel, both salvaged from a desktop solar pet (about 2USD in chinese gift sites i think) would make for an awesome upgrade to this.

    Yup! :)

    nice job, it looks great!
    will try it out :)

    please post a pic when you try it.

    I thought about the rubber band - extend the dual "spines" out in front of the cam shaft to provide a mount point for it, but any band strong enough to provide enough motive power would probably distort the machine to the point of inoperability. Remember, you're dealing with a lot more resistance than a prop through air. Better the windup spring.

    I agree, a rubber band might probably not work. would unwind too fast for it to move smoothly too. this implementation is not sturdy enough for very fast movement i guess. am positive about a fan though... need to allign the axles and the cam perfectly to get the movements smooth before a fan could work.

    Does it move by blowing on it or using a fan? The ones on the beach use the wind. I was thinking about trying to build this with a couple of people helping out. About how long do you think it would take? I know- time will vary greatly, but is it generally a couple hours, or is it much more involved? Thanks!

    Hi, this one took me about 6 hrs. But remember that I was figuring out how to make it while actually doing it. With a plan and step by step intructions, I am guessing it might be faster.