Self-propelled Strandbeest

About: I am an American teaching English at Shangluo University, Shaanxi. I like making machines that do interesting but fairly useless things - I call them Quixotic Machines.

Recently built a strandbeest model, which really gives one a good undertanding of how it works, and it is super entertaining. Then tired of fanning it with a fan to keep it going so decided to mount the fan on its back.

Below are some photos showing the build.

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Step 1: Closeup Photos...

I took a cheap usb computer fan that has a gooseneck and cut off the usb plug. I couldn't get the wire out of the gooseneck though so had to solder some wires to the motor, drill a hole in the motor mount, and route them outside and around the gooseneck.

For the motor and battery pack mount I just glued together a few pieces of 3mm hobby plywood and attached it to the strandbeest frame. I then epoxied a tube (fishing pole section) to the frame which holds another tube that fits over it to which I epoxied a smaller tube that holds the gooseneck.

To the frame I added a single-pole switch and the battery box. Wired it up and low and behold it works.

Improvements: could use a higher rpm motor and rc propeller to get greater thrust to drive the strandbeest a little faster and give it more torque. But as long as the fan is directly in front of the strandbeests fan, it works.

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