I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty of mechanical linkages. Back in 2005 I was quite addicted to a simple little program called sodaplay. It allows you to create just 2 parts, stiff linkages and muscles. I designed a whole range of different walking machines with these 2 simple components: sodaplay.com. Like all things addictive, it soon wore off but one model called peddles always stayed in the back of my mind. See the youtube video for simple loop of the exact model I designed.
With my graduation just 2 months away I decided it was now or never and built the first prototypes out of cardboard.
After 8 years I finally had a working model. I made several smaller paper versions to find the optimal angles for the different joints and started designing a fully functional prototype. I designed all the parts in illustrator and cut them out of 4mm plywood on a lasercutter.
For the driving mechanism I needed 8 linear actuators timed to a sine wave. At first I was looking at electronic ways to solve the problem but that involved a lot of complex programming. So I made a seperate machine to generate a sinewave with a cam shaft. The 9 different arms were meant to drive the walking machine with bicycle brake cables but that ended up putting a lot of strain on the camshaft. But I did learn a lot about the mechanism and used the lessons learned for Attempt #2.