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How does Theo Jansen Mechanism Work?

Here is a flash animation of Theo Jansen mechanism which is a very interesting linkage systems. This ingenious mechanism is very good example of four bar mechanism described before. In this mechanism 4 four bar arranged such that a rotation movement is converted to walking pattern of a four legged animal. You can see videos of this mechanism in action by doing google search and entering key word "Theo Jansen"

There are only limited arrangement of bars which gives a good imitation of a four legged animal walking pattern. By changing sliders you can change lengths of corresponding bars. Also you may move center green ball or right red ball to have different arrangements.

Please note that this is very unstable animation and some arrangement destroy animation and there is no going back, if animation act strange, just re run it to turn to initial arrangement.

I enjoy watching videos of Theo Jansen mechanism and playing with this animation and I hope you will enjoy too.


William
02 Dec 2012

I give this a 9.5.

Just saw the Sumday Morfning piece and, as an engineer, was blown away.

mynzalink
18 Jan 2013

hypnotic!!!
i ll use that stuff in my future marble machine!

Suhrid Barai
09 Jul 2013

Well i tried it out of Straws and pins, It worked very well. Except that one part is making a larger curve than the other one, but lets hope it doesn't creates a problem when i make it a three dimensional walking robot.

Suhrid Barai
09 Jul 2013

I give it 9............

paolo caravani
08 Sep 2013

Fully praised the project. Going to realize it with Meccano. Wondering if dowloading the software one can run it on a Apple air laptop?

p3orion
12 Feb 2014

Nice simulation, but it would allow for a lot more experimentation if the five linkages controlled by the blue slider could be adjusted individually. Jansens's own design drawings labeled these separately as linkages E,F,H,J, and K.

ankit
24 Feb 2014

mind blowing
exellent
veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy godddddddddddddddddddddddddd

Ad Lakerveld
21 Sep 2014

This page helped me to find a symmetrical walking pattern, From that I had three variables with which I found the best numbers, and leads to a good walking mechanism with much more freedom of design, On base of that I found the Adlaker-mechanism that walks even better which I will send to you. See also the youtube channel under my name. Thanks for the beautiful start of the evolution of the Theo jansen mechanism! Ad

Ad Lakerveld
21 Sep 2014

The solution here: Change Y in 280 and red has a range of possibilities, I find R = 140 the best. The lenght of P is then free. In this model you can make P zero what is not possible in real models.

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