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Theo Jansen’s Walker

September 1st, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

My third walking vehicle. Features 8 legs based on Theo Jansen’s walking mechanism, driven by two motors. Β 


Completion date: 31/08/2011
Power: electric (Power Functions)
Weight: 0.492 kg
Suspension: none
Propulsion: 2 x PF Medium motor geared 1:66:1
Motors: 2 x PF Medium

I wasn’t satisfied with my previous walker which tried to adapt the Klann linkage, so I turned to something else: the Theo Jansen’s mechanism. I started by studying a so-called kinetic horse which uses Jansen’s linkage to move four legs. I recreated the linkage using 5 and 7 studs long liftarms, and I’ve been experimenting on a 4-legged walker for a while. I was trying to make it steered by articulation, but it proved to be unstable. I have then created two identical 4-legged units and connected them together. I wanted the whole walker to be steered by controlling four left and four right legs independently; I have been experimenting with a studless subtractor in the propulsion system, but it resulted in the walker being slow, large and clumsy.

Eventually, I settled for a lightweight body with two Medium motors controlled independently. I have shortened the legs, as longer legs needed longer chassis to maintain the same level of stability. I have also equipped them with rubber tips to improve traction on flat surfaces. The walker created this way turned out to be very efficient, agile and fast, even if very simple. I consider it my best walker up to date, but this is rather thanks to relying on Theo Jansen’s work than on my own solutions.


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  1. Sariel
    January 24th, 2014 at 22:49 | #1
  2. Alexander
    January 24th, 2014 at 22:31 | #2

    have you ever thought of making one thats steered by changing how far the legs go back/forward? it would be complicated but may be possible.

  3. jaf1028
    March 10th, 2013 at 17:39 | #3

    IT`S ALIVE!!!!!!

  4. arjan
    March 6th, 2012 at 19:42 | #4

    it would had been nice if you took the pairs on the left or the right side and made 2 pictures of them.
    Nice work though.

  5. Sariel
    January 13th, 2012 at 08:01 | #5
  6. January 13th, 2012 at 02:24 | #6

    when using the broom were you sweeping videoing and controlling the walker at the same time.

  7. Panos
    September 10th, 2011 at 17:53 | #7

    If you were smart you would start beating the insect instead of pushing it away :P.
    You should try to make a walker with multiple dof on the legs.

  8. john
    September 10th, 2011 at 06:01 | #8

    btw you should check my unimog out on technic gallery, its by the username kusogaki

  9. john
    September 10th, 2011 at 05:44 | #9

    cool thanks

  10. Sariel
    September 9th, 2011 at 21:31 | #10

    Well, you would need four receivers, all of which can be set on the same channel to work as one.

    Yes, I think this walker can easily handle the weight of the regular battery box.

  11. john
    September 6th, 2011 at 23:08 | #11

    can you use two battery boxes to function 4 motors from only one reciever?

  12. Richuk
    September 5th, 2011 at 22:10 | #12
  13. TechnicLee
    September 5th, 2011 at 18:24 | #13

    Oops sorry i meant sunday πŸ˜€

  14. TechnicLee
    September 5th, 2011 at 18:23 | #14

    Sariel will not reply, as he is on holiday untill saturday πŸ™‚

  15. Black_Omega63
    September 5th, 2011 at 11:56 | #15

    Hi Sariel,
    That is a cool alien walker you’ve got there! Maybe the next alien invasion will use these for their attacks! πŸ˜‰
    I would like to build something like one of your recent walkers, but I do not have a rechargeable battery. Do any of the walkers have enough power and handle loads well enough to carry a normal battery box?
    Thanks! πŸ™‚
    See ya, Black_Omega63

  16. john
    September 4th, 2011 at 15:47 | #16

    ohu~ nevamind u hav the rechargeble one

  17. john
    September 4th, 2011 at 15:45 | #17


  18. Sariel
    September 4th, 2011 at 06:59 | #18


  19. john
    September 4th, 2011 at 05:07 | #19

    how many batteries do you buy a month? just curious…

  20. TechnicLee
    September 3rd, 2011 at 21:22 | #20

    R.I.P Pearl…

  21. Mike
    September 3rd, 2011 at 11:58 | #21

    sorry to hear that..

  22. shawn
    September 3rd, 2011 at 04:10 | #22

    that’s too bad.

  23. Sariel
    September 2nd, 2011 at 23:33 | #23

    Just two now, Lucius and his other sister. Pearl got sick a few weeks ago and passed away πŸ™

  24. Mike
    September 2nd, 2011 at 22:52 | #24

    how many do you have? There’s good old Lucius, his sister, and? πŸ™‚ just to stick to totally Lego related stuff πŸ˜€

  25. Sariel
    September 2nd, 2011 at 22:10 | #25

    Ah, yes, my other hamster does the same thing. I call him Inverted Gravity Hamster.

  26. Mike
    September 2nd, 2011 at 21:45 | #26

    well what ours did was like a military training. He climbed up on vertical textiles, ran, fell, and on top of it all, hanged from the grille on his terrarium. By his front paws, gnawing on the grille, and wandering around while hanging.

  27. Sariel
    September 2nd, 2011 at 14:38 | #27

    I know what you mean, they can be lightning-fast when they want to… which is usually when there’s nothing to eat nearby πŸ™‚

  28. Mike
    September 2nd, 2011 at 14:36 | #28

    I have seen him πŸ™‚ it’s just funny how much faster he could be if his legs wouldn’t slip that much. πŸ™‚
    Our first hamster could do 2 metres in one blink of an eye on the sofa, when he was scared.

  29. Sariel
    September 2nd, 2011 at 00:15 | #29

    Are you kidding me? Have you seen Lucius in the Crab video, or was he running too fast to be noticed? πŸ˜›

  30. Mike
    September 2nd, 2011 at 00:05 | #30

    πŸ˜€ they’re not that good on flat surfaces, hamsters…

  31. Jake
    September 1st, 2011 at 23:36 | #31

    No, I canΒ΄t watch the video because IΒ΄m from germany and I canΒ΄t watch the video here because of “….. GEMA blabla“ πŸ™ . So IΒ΄ll have to watch it when IΒ΄m in poland again πŸ™‚ it will be in some weeks πŸ™‚ . And there are more videos waiting to be watched like the BMR-2 πŸ™‚ @Mike

  32. Sariel
    September 1st, 2011 at 22:42 | #32

    No, I don’t think the speed affects the stability. The number of legs certainly does. As for seeing it walk, Lucius walking is still a funnier sight.

  33. Mike
    September 1st, 2011 at 22:17 | #33

    maybe the thing driving it is green because of the “smooth” ride πŸ˜€
    the faster the legs move, the more szable the walker is?

  34. Mike
    September 1st, 2011 at 22:12 | #34

    Didn’t you laugh seeing it walk? πŸ˜€ it’s very clever mechanically, I admire such mechanisms, but it’s damn funny actually πŸ˜€ crazy machine! πŸ™‚

  35. Jake
    September 1st, 2011 at 11:18 | #35

    Cool walker! Maybe i`ll try to build it, too. But I can`t watch the video again πŸ™

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