Toe Tapping Two Way Pendulum – Video

Tue, 15 Nov 2011

Despite the early success of the single action pendulum model I thought I'd see just how fast a foot could tap using a double acting pendulum. One where the pendulum lifts the foot both on a left swing and on a right swing.

The box has a pendulum in it with a horizontal arm on either either side. 

A large hinged flat piece sits on the top of the box, two push rods rest on the pendulum side arms so that the piece lifts for either direction of swing.

I fitted a hinged shoe to a shallower box. The shoe is fitted with a push rod that drops through a hole in the top of the box.

The two parts ready to be joined together.

Double speed tapping!

Below is a YouTube video of both designs in action. I think I'll stick with the single action, the movement works well and the swings last longer, perhaps because their are fewer moving parts.

I'll have a go at fitting legs and body tomorrow.

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Comments (7)

  • Anonymous November 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I would agree that the single

    I would agree that the single one looks better for the toe tap but the more rapid springy double one looks like there is just some sort of model there just waiting for the mechanism – its jerky,jumpy and erratic – just can't think at the mo what might be a suitable subject – perhaps something will come to me over night


  • Megan November 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Rob
    Great model all on its

    Hi Rob

    Great model all on its own, without a body attached. The single action is definitely the better of the two, as the toe tap is too rapid with the double speed. Quite a natural-looking tap with the single.

    • robives November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am

      Thanks for your feedback, I’m

      Thanks for your feedback, I'm wondering if I can use the mechanism for a different model. Perhaps a spider, alternate legs driven by each side of the pendulum?

      • umehta November 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm

        The challenge would be


        The challenge would be how to keep pendulum moving for long enough time without tapping it again…but it looks wonderfully natural with both single and double pendulums…more with single…




      • daveyboy November 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

        A spider wiggling his legs

        A spider wiggling his legs using multiple pendulums is a brilliant idea – I think this would look very effective

        • Smelter November 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

          How about a seal with

          How about a seal with clapping flippers!

      • daveyboy November 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

        If you can also make the

        If you can also make the spider move forward at the same time it will really look like a scuttling spider

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