Walking vehicle

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A quadruped walker, the General Electric Walking truck, on display at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum

A walking vehicle is a vehicle that moves on legs rather than wheels or tracks. Walking vehicles have been constructed with anywhere from one to more than eight legs. They are classified according to the number of legs with common configurations being one leg (pogo stick or "hopper"), two legs (biped), four legs (quadruped), and six legs (hexapod).

There are a few prototypes of walking vehicles. Currently almost all of these are experimental or proof of concept, and as such may never see mass production.

While the mobility of walking vehicles is arguably higher than that of wheeled or tracked vehicles, their inherent complexity has limited their use mainly to experimental vehicles. Examples of manned walking vehicles include General Electric's Walking truck, the University of Duisburg-Essen's ALDURO. Timberjack, a subsidiary of John Deere, built a practical hexapod Walking Forest Machine (harvester).[1] One of the most sophisticated real-world walking vehicles is the Martin Montensano-built 'Walking Beast', a 7-ton quadrapod experimental vehicle suspended by four hydraulic binary-configuration limbs with much greater dexterity.

Some walking machines such as the BigDog, an autonomous robot, have been designed for the potential military applications. The largest walking machine ever made is the Big Muskie dragline excavator, used primarily in mining operations.

The Dragon of Furth im Wald, a quadrupedal animatronic dragon created for a German festival, was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World's biggest walking robot". It is operated by remote control rather than a pilot.[2]

Dutch artist Theo Jansen has created many walking machines called Strandbeest that wander on Dutch beaches.

In 2015, MegaBots Inc. created the MegaBots Mk. II which is a 15-foot tall bipedal mecha and Suidobashi heavy industry built the Kuratas which is a quad-pedal mecha in 2012; both are scheduled to compete against each other, however the competition was delayed and will now pit the MegaBots Mk. III versus the Kuratas. Chinese inventors created the "Monkey King" and have challenged MegaBots Inc.'s mecha.

At the end of 2016, Korea Future Technology built a prototype of a robot called METHOD-1, that could qualify as a Mecha. The robot could walk, and its driver could control the robot's arms individually.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Timberjack Walking Machine on YouTube
  2. ^ Further Drache (2010). "Further Drache". The Dragon of Furth im Wald. Municipality of Furth im Wald. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ "A mech for modern times: Method-1 is your sci-fi fantasy come to life". Digital Trends. 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-27.