BRDCs Build A Beast course taught students the principles of physics and mechanics while building a mechanical walking "beast" operated by pedal power.
The class began with a series of videos demonstrating the wide variety of efforts to expand upon Theo Jansen's kinetic walking creatures. Each student was given a model to construct as an example of the technology behind the idea. The models operate by wind power, utilizing 2 gears to operate the many legs allowing the model to walk.
Later in the week, the students worked together as a group to dismantle and reconstruct a full-size walking beast made of plywood and metal parts created for the class by BRDC staff and volunteers. They were given a demonstration of the gear configuration and the process involved before they started. The students took photos and labeled parts to help with reassembly.
By the end of the week, the students had successfully accomplished the complex task. On the last day, they painted and decorated the beast, which became a black bear.
BRDC would like to thank tinkerers Don Pridgen, Lee Schores and William Roberts, whose combined expertise resulted in our first walking beast. The team is now officially known as the Beastly Boys. We look forward to further kinetic collaborations. Hats off to you guys!