Introduction: K'nex Strandbeest
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
- 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.