Posts Tagged ‘bipedal walker’

1923 – Walking Lunar Rover (Science Fiction) – Homer Eon Flint (American)

The vehicle in the book is described as being bee-like; when not flying, then walking.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the lunar rovers of science fiction were sometimes more humorous than scientific. Homer Eon Flint, in 1923, proposed in his novel "Out of the Moon"  what might be termed an ornithomorphic design.  It resembled a large, two-legged, bird like rover that walked across the Moon.  

Other related information:

In the book Devolutionist, space travelers experiment with Venusian methods of telepathic space travel. They leave our solar system to discover and explore the earthlike planet Capellette of the star Capella. In the Emancipatrix, they go to the planet Sanus of the star Arcturus. In both unique worlds, they become embroiled in the struggles and challenges of the inhabitants, and much more. This is Book Two of the Dr. Kinney adventures. (Summary by A.Gramour)

The above book cover shows the vehicle to be an ornithopter, but the landing gear (the legs) are not shown.

For a more recent walking ornithopter, see here.

Homer Eon Flint (1888 as Homer Eon Flindt – 1924) was a writer of pulp science fiction novels and stories. He began working as a scenarist for silent films (reportedly at his wife's insistence) in 1912. In 1918 he published "The Planeteer" in All-Story Weekly. His "Dr. Kinney" stories were reprinted by Ace Books in 1965, and with Austin Hall he co-wrote the novel The Blind Spot. Reportedly he died as a result of an involvement in a bank robbery attempt. According to his granddaughter the only witness, was himself a gangster.

See all the known Steam Men and early Walking Machines here.

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1956 – “CABER” Bipedal Walking Model – Peter Holland (British)

Cyclic Action Bipedal Electric Railway by W. P. Holland
Model Maker January 1956

The problem in view this month is that of penetrating dense scrub country – solved by taking big steps: indeed, when this machine throws its track nonchalantly over its left shoulder it fairly stamps its way through the offending greenery. You will see from the cycle of operation the general principle; the car runs the length of the rail, and, running past the front pylon, upsets the balance of the track unit, causing it to swing up and over, the rear end now becoming the front: and landing on the pylon again ready for the car to proceed once more.
If you want to emulate the Scots and try tossing the "Caber".

Click on these images below for a high-res version of the complete article:


Thanks to David Buckley in providing the material and idea for this post.

For other Walking models by W. Peter Holland, see my other posts here.

For a similar concept, see Prof. Katsyu's Walking-beam model.


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1963c – Two-Legged Walker – Meredith Thring (Australian/British)

Source: How to Invent: M.W. Thring and E.R. Laithwaite, 1977.

In the first stage of an attempt to make a powered artificial leg I analysed the essential mechanism of human walking and produced the device shown above which walks on two legs by bending the knee as the thigh begins to swing forward and straightening it as it begins to swing backward.


Thring with 2-legged walker.

Prior to the above electric-powered walker, Thring built a compressed-air powered mode. 

Source: Robots and Telechirs, M.W. Thring, 1983.

Figure 6.26 shows the linkage mechanism used by Thring in some early studies for a powered orthotic or prosthetic leg. This consists of two parallelograms so that two pneumatic cylinders can provide the whole walking movement and the foot is maintained parallel to the ground. The upper cylinder swings the leg by changing the diagonal of the upper parallelogram, while the lower one lifts the foot by bending the knee.

Fig. 6.26 — Pantograph leg mechanism.

Source: New Scientist, 7 Mar 1963.

… when a domestic robot will take over the routine of running a house ….. the fortunate house-holder ought to be able to turn a switch and give the robot instructions to do  everything. It will make the beds. change the sheets, dust the whole place. vacuum, clean the carpets, lay the table and clear it and look after other machines as well —it could be instructed, for instance, to feed the washing machine.
The machine would have to walk, not run on wheels, so that it could negotiate the edges of carpets and go up and down stairs. A mechanism for doing this has been developed at Sheffield. It works by a system of telescopic legs and feet and an extendable cantilever arm. Professor Thring showed a film of the machine, powered from a compressed air line,
coming down a flight of steps and then propelling itself along the flat, rather like a monkey taking the weight on its knuckles and swinging its back legs forward.

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