Saturday, February 6, 2010

Klann LEGO Spider v1.0

My Klann Lego Spider is a LEGO compatible prototype of the Klann linkage. The build files and details are posted on Thingiverse. At my wife's prompting, I'm christening the spider, "Charlotte Mk.i" since calling her "the spider thing" seems to be getting old.

The legs for the vehicle were milled from 3/8" plastic sheet stock. All the rest of the components are from LEGO Mindstorms, which we use to introduce freshman engineering students to robotic concepts.

Take a look at my interview with Priya Ganapati, of, on the GadgetLab blog: Robotic Spider Melds Legos and 3-D Printing.

Weller, a machinist and technician at the McCoy School of Engineering at Midwestern State University, combined milled plastic pieces with the basic Lego Mindstorms set to create a robotic spider that can crawl and turn.

“I wanted to open students’ minds to go beyond ‘let’s put the parts together and program the robot,’” he says. “This project is more than sticking the wheels on a Lego set.”

The folks over at Hack a Day featured the spider at Lego Spider bot, pointing out the design's relative simplicity and efficiency in incorporating legs into a robot chassis, when compared to other possible designs.

In the "near" future, I'm hoping to create LEGO compatible examples of Theo Jansen's strandbeest linkage as well. After building the Klann linkage, I’ve tentatively concluded that the strandbeest would be a much better cargo hauler, whereas Klann legs make a better light scouting vehicle.

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