Stilt Walking Automata

Fri, 19 May 2017

#Truelove is reading one of the Moomin books to her class and it got me thinking about stilts. As I remember it there is a bit is Comet in Moominland where the characters have to escape with the aid of stilts. Something to do wth the sea having been dried up by the approaching comet, anyway, despite the rather worrying looking picture, I’m sure they make good their escape and stilted their way to safety.

So I was thinking, how about a character using stilts? Might make an interesting model. I drew a sketch while I was waiting for #1Son to come out of work and posted it up on my Instagram feed here.

The most appropriate mechanism to use would probably be some sort of double crank like the one in this Essential Mechansim.


I’ll have a go at modifying the exist mechanism so that the two push rods come out through the top of the box, I’ll then be able to attach a character onto them directly. I’ll need to make a couple of other changes to the design of the mechansism. The push rods will need to be spaced further apart to fit the character. I’ll resize the box so it is more cube-like and I’ll move the crank shaft back into the centre of the box sides.


I’ve been trying to visualise how the character and the stilts will join together. Will the stilts flop forward or backwards? How will the arms need to be connected? How will I keep the character centred over the box top?
I think the easiest way to find out will be to make a prototype and try it out.

Next step, I’ll make up a double crank box as described above and probably release it as an Essential Mechanism. I can then try connecting up an articulated person.

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Comments (1)

  • JohnW May 19, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    For 20 years now you have

    For 20 years now you have been keeping your readers involved in the process of your creations. It’s been a real treat to watch as your designs have gone from a concept on paper to a real working model. Still, after all these years you continue to instruct and allow us to be a part of your journey to discover new things. 

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