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Hamster Powers, Controls Strandbeest Walking Robot

This hamster-powered walking robot was created by hobbyist and roboticist crabfu. The video below shows this walking robot, which was hacked from a Gakken mini strandbeest walker.


(Hamster-powered walking robot)

... hamster powered? that's just stupid, which is the exact reason why I did it. It's different, hasn't been done before, yet it's in so many what's-under-the-hood jokes. It also had a high likelyhood of working, so I had to attempt it. Only problem: I don't have a hamster, I don't want a hamster for a pet, and I don't know what sort of power and weight a little critter like that has. All I know is that I've seen them go ballistic on the hamster wheel, and so they must have great weight to power ratio.

SF readers may recall the Martian perambulators used in Robert Heinlein's 1951 novel Between Planets to help Martians get around on Earth.

At the ringside opposite them a table had been removed to make room for a large transparent plastic capsule on wheels. Don had never seen one but he recognized its function; it was a Martian's "perambulator," a portable air-conditioning unit to provide the rare, cold air necessary to a Martian aborigine. The occupant could be seen dimly, his frail body supported by a metal articulated servo framework to assist him in coping with the robust gravity of the third planet.

Gamers may recall the Orz from Star Control 2; this race of aliens used an anthropomorphic exoskeleton to get around in when on land (thanks, Yossi).


Orz space marine in combat gear)

Vernor Vinge wrote about a strange race in his 1992 novel A Fire Upon the Deep:

Ravna looked across the surf. When the waves backed down the sand, she could see the Skroderiders' fronds peeping out of the spray... They sat in the surf, thinking thoughts that left no imprint on their minds...

Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out." Someone had put them on mobile platforms, the skrodes. With wheels they could move along the seashores, could reach and manipulate with their fronds and tendrils. With the skrode's mechanical short-term memory, they could learn fast enough that their new mobility would not kill them...

From crabfu via Botjunkie.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/7/2011)

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