Posts Tagged ‘Walking machine’

1980 – “Crater Scraper” Walking Beam Model – Peter Holland (British)

The "Space Models" designed by Peter Holland, which appeared in the early Model Maker of the 'fifties onwards, were interesting applications of mechanical principles and some are still available today in the Model Maker Plans Service as constructional drawings. This, his latest, "Space Model" makes use of readily available gear and rack sets and there's a radio controlled version too [Ed. Included here]. . . Peter will describe them both.

This machine bears a faint external resemblance to my old M.A.P. Plans Service design "S.L.I.T.H.A.", a friction operated device using one of those dear old ever ready T.G.18 series of electric motors…..
The "Crater Scraper" is an earth levelling device or should I say "Moon" levelling?). It has a beam upon which a car travels, and which, upon reaching the far end, shoots the  beam forward ahead of itself again as seen in the sequence of Fig. 1. Unlike the "S.L.I.T.H.A.", this one has a retractable foot on the car, so that the whole unit is raised when shooting the scraper beam forward. Then raised when the car moves. This results in a form of "walking" action and is illustrated in Fig. 2.                                                

Photo of the basic model.

Movement and operation of the basic model.

The steering motions on the upgraded radio-control model.

Pdf giving complete published instructions 

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 and Peter Holland's CABER.


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1971 – Stepping/Walking Machine – Katysu [Катыс] – (Soviet)

Professor Katsyu [Профессор Г. Катыс] with his walker.

Source: «Техника-молодежи» 1972 г №2, с.16-17, 19

Build the model! Full source: Юный-техник 1972-01 

Sample walking actions.

Professor GP Katysu proposed a model of two-link wheeled walking mechanism, the principle of operation is reduced as an obstacle to one link and deferred to his center of gravity of the mechanism, and then pulled up and the second link.

The idea of transferring alternating legs relative to the main housing like the construction described above lies in the other model walker Professor GP Katysu. Here are the two pillars of hard tripod that can mark again thanks to a long block frame mechanism. While a tripod is lifted and moved forward by a certain distance, the machine rests on the other, and then moves toward the first and second transfers over the obstacle. The design is extremely simple, as well as the scheme itself pacing, so has good prospects praktichegkogo use. The Ka-76 NTTM exhibition was shown a working model of such a device built young technicians.

Source: here.

Source: Юный-техник 1978-11

Prof. Katsyu with a "manned" model of Katsyu's unique walker.


Source: Popular Mechanics May,1994.
The Beast That Walks
Beast slides its equipment box back and forth, using it as a counterbalance while it lifts and moves one tripod leg at a time.
STATE COLLEGE, MS — Brains, batteries, sample bins—all these burdens can weigh down a walking robot. But a unique design by Matt Michel and Robert Ferguson, two former Mississippi State University students, throws its weight around to good use.
The Beast (short for Best Economical All-Terrain Space Traveler) consists of two tripod legs and an equipment box that shuttles across an I-beam. The box serves as a counterweight while the Beast walks. First one tripod, counterbalanced by the box, raises its scissor jack legs. Then a motor in the other tripod turns the I-beam to swing the lifted tripod forward. That tripod then replants its   feet, and the box slides over to the opposite end of the beam. The Beast then takes another step. In confined spaces, the robot can also inchworm straight along the I-beam.

A concept excavator using the sliding beam, but without counterweighted pivoting.


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More Meccano Walking Machines & Robots

Meccano model of GE's Walking Truck designed by Hugh Henry.

All legs are completely rotatable in the same direction.

For a complete set of images see the NZ Meccano web site here.  Thanks Antonio Gual for encouraging  Tony Brown (the author of the Modelplan) who found some pictures of Hugh Henry's original.

(Has anyone built this model? I wouldn't mind getting some more pics and possible Youtube clip of this.)

Walking Steam Boat

Above model by Anthony Burkitt.

The Meccano Steam Boat Construction Set is part of popular the Crazy Inventors series of 5 multi model motorised sets.

You can build 3 different unique models with the 363 wood, metal and plastic parts in the Steam Boat Crazy Inventors Erector Set. Included in the set are a legs with suspensions, an anchor with chain, gears, tools and a character. A 6V motor (requires 4 AA batteries -included) allows the vehicle to really walk.

Other Meccano models:

Konkoly Walking Camel by Gary Higgins

See a selection of Konkoly walking models here. Thanks Antonio Gual for the link.

Mechanical Elephant model 1954.

Mechanical Kangaroo – Gravity walker. 1969.

Man learning to walk on a treadmill.

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1965 – Meccano Walking Horse and Chariot – Andreas Konkoly (Hungarian)

Source: Meccano Magazine, March 1965

…Since then, we have featured examples of his skill at fairly regular intervals in the M.M., one model which I personally remember very well being a Walking Horse and Chariot which was described in a 1965 issue. In fact, Mr. Konkoly himself said of this model recently, "Although I later built bigger, or more attractive, or perhaps better models, I nevertheless consider this model the chief work of my Meccano activities". It took him two years to perfect, but I [Ed] remember that the result was well worth the effort.

Source: Mecanno Magazine, June 1972

Image by Charlie Pack.

Model by S. Tokarski.

Model by Chris Shute.

Models by John Hanson, includes the walking Nurse with Pram on the left..

The Horse with mounted Spanish Night.

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Early Meccano Robot Models – Frank Hornby et al (British)

Mechanical Men and Robot Models from various Meccano Instruction Manuals.

1931 Mechanical Man

AMONG the many mechanical marvels that scientists tell us will be common sights in the year 2031 A.D., none can be of  greater interest than the " robots " or mechanical men which, we are assured, wilt be used to perform almost every action of a human being. Meccano boys. may well envy their fellow constructors of the next century using a "squad" of these "mechanical humans" to do their homework while they complete a model of a super 500 m.p.h. land plane, or the latest pattern of a moon rocket !
Although the remarkable Meccano model robot described this month is not capable of working out Square Roots or Compound Interest, it will nevertheless walk forward in a remarkably realistic manner, merely by pressing one of the Pulley Wheels that represent this weird individual's "ears" !

1950 – Mechanical Man


1957 version below

1970 version from Chile.

Another 1970 version called "Fred".

1967 – Hoppy the Perambulating Robot.

Source: Meccano Magazine 1967                         
Eyes aglow,  Arms swinging, Head turning, Hoppy' perambulates in a most unusual manner. Build him with 'Spanner'. 

SCIENCE fiction writers—those prophets of the  mechanical age—have long foretold the existence  of man-like machines, capable of movement and able to perform all sorts of physical tasks. In these days of automation the prophesies of science fiction are well on the way to realization. Already men in a wide variety of industries are being superseded by machines which are doing the job better, faster and at a greatly reduced cost, but as yet, none of these machines could, even by the widest stretch of the imagination, be described as 'human-looking'.
In spite of this, it is an easy matter to produce a man-like machine, or robot, as is proved by the fact that Meccano owners have been doing just that for close on half a century! It has been some considerable time, however, since we actually featured a robot in the 'M.M'., so I thought I would make up the deficiency this month with the typical example described below. Admittedly, it cannot do anybody's work for them, but it does walk, swing its arms and move its head, thanks to the Power Drive Unit it incorporates. The only thing to remember is that it does not walk like we do with two legs, but moves both feet forward together, while standing on its 'legs', then swings its body forward to repeat the movement. Construction should present no problem.


1965 Meccano Dalek

WHILE travelling into the future in his incredible 'time machine', Dr. Who and his three companions encountered the fearsome Daleks! These weird space invaders of the future are, as most of you know, to be seen on the exciting television serial 'Dr. Who'.                                                
However, although the Daleks are in many ways frightening, they are fascinating creatures with strange metallic voices that have the ability to slip along, robot-like, under their own power. In fact, so popular are the Daleks that toy shops throughout the country have been selling thousands of models of these space creatures. Therefore, I thought it would make a popular exercise to build a Dalek in Meccano. The model described in this article is based on a television Dalek, although it is not identical in shape. Motive power is supplied by an Emebo motor and two lamps on the front of the body flash on and off as the model moves.

Modern, more realist version of a Dalek Mk IV.

1987 Mr. Clockwork Motor designed by Andreas Konkoly

The late Andreas Konkoly designed some interesting and often quirky models. Entitled Mr Clockwork Motor this model was published in the North Midlands Meccano Guild Newsmag No 47, March 1987.
The model is built around a No. 1 Clockwork motor which is able to provide the light model with a good run.
The large feet (3" square) are for purposes of stabilizing the model which exhibited an interesting gait when operating. His arms swung with each step and his head swung from side to side as if scanning the horizon.
Although it may appear from the pictures that the Double Angle Strips are likely become entangled, this does not happen in practice and his excursions are limited only by the endurance of the motor.
Like all ambulatory models of this kind, it is a kid magnet at exhibitions.

Model and Text by Lindsay Carroll.

A similar model called "Little Big Man" by Antoni Gual.

Miscellaneous Early Meccano Robots

1934 Mechanical Man [Below]

1952 Mechanical Man [Below]

Above. 5ft Mechanical Man 1951.

Above. 1957 – Oscar the Robot by Geoff Pratt.

Geoff must have built several more robots.  Rob Thompson (Mar 2014) informs me of Oscar V built in 1977.

Here Rob's pic of him from the Henley Exhibition in 1983.

Above 2 photos by NoirProfond2.  Above 3 images located at .

1975 – Edmund Atkinson with his Motorised Penguin.

1977c – Robot "Ripper Delux" with Matt Goodman. Photo by Rod Thompson

Update: Email from Matt Goodman 8 Feb 2014 

"I was fascinated to find by accident a picture of myself on p2 of your walking machines website (attached). It was either taken at The Town & Country Festival nr Coventry or at the Midlands Meccano Guild (the first guild & Dad was first Treasurer). …….
For your information Ripper Delux was the last in a series of robots all with very different capabilities. This had remote control of: moving about (driven by the steerable rear wheel), a rotating sign on the top, blinkin eyes, moving mouth, swivelling head, illuminated moving lungs and heart and shook hands. There were two types of buzzer and a bell. Nobody I had ever seen build a lifesize robot before and very few since.
Throughout our teens my friends and I specialised in destructive robots (looong before Robot Wars was ever conceived). The most successful design was based upon the Venus Probe (as escaped in Steve Austen's Six Million Dollar Man) which was extremely fast, stable and manouverable with a large pair of jaws at the front for throwing or grabbing the opposition. We damaged a lot of shiney Meccano in those days -these computer gamers are just whimps when it came to real losses of pocket money due to lost battles ! "

1977c  Robot "Ripper Delux". Photo by Rod Thompson.

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

See all the known early Humanoid Robots here.