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Strandbeests, as originally conceived, are gigantic PVC creatures that walk across the sand under wind power. While building one is certainly an enormous undertaking, smaller models are available that let you experience this strange kinetic motion in a more approachable size. These are also normally propelled by moving air, but maker “ArduinoDeXXX” decided to take things further with a pair of DC motors and an Arduino Nano.

The project came together over five distinct iterations, starting off with the normal wind-driven version, then adding uncontrolled motors. After that, the Arduino was included for automation, and this was upgraded with an IR remote. Finally, ArduinoDeXXX integrated simple gesture sensing using an array of IR LEDs.

You can see the mini Strandbeest in action below, along with a few “bonus” improvements at the end.

What has eight legs, a tail, and is powered by an Arduino Mega? The ClearWalker, of course!

This Strandbeest-style walker employs two motors, controlled by individual H-bridge relay modules to traverse forwards, backwards, and slowly rotate to one side or another via a hesitating leg motion. You can see how the electronics (including a bunch of LEDs) were integrated into this build in the video below.

If you’d like to try a similar control scheme for your ClearWalker/Strandbeest/treaded vehicle using an Arduino and smartphone, you can find it outlined in this Arduino Project Hub post. For the rest of the steps in this quite involved build, and more rather zany inventions, be sure to check out the “Jeremy Cook’s Projects” YouTube page.

If you’ve never seen a Strandbeest before, you’re going to want to watch the video after the break. Invented by [Theo Jansen], a Strandbeest is a kinematic work of art. An eight legged structure that walks around under wind power — or if you’re clever, an Arduino and some motors.

For a weekend project, [Remet0n] decided to motorize a toy version of the Strandbeest, and make it remote-controlled. The toy is normally powered by a propeller spun by the wind — making it very easy to replace with motors. You can pick them up for under $10 on eBay.

Using an Arduino Nano, two small 3V motors , a wireless chip (NRF24L01) and a L9110 H-bridge, he was able to create this awesome little remote-controlled device:

As far as remote-controlled Strandbeests go though, we love this Sphero controlled Strandbeest — I mean, who even thinks about coming up with something like that? Maybe I should make one for my Sphero…


Filed under: Arduino Hacks
aluminalis-completed-rbw“Let’s build something creepy, Dad…”, my teenage daughters said. We had no idea this creepy crawly creature would utilize our machining skills to the fullest.

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