The Walking beast

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Presented By:
Martin Montesano
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Tell us briefly about your project. Is it a work of art or does it serve another function?

The Walking Beast by Moltensteelman is a kinetic work of art that tests the limits of large scale mechanical locomotion using applied math, science, engineering and technology.

When did you start working on this project and how long did it take you to complete?

I started designing The Walking Beast in 2004 and it walked for the first time in 2007. To build the machine, I logged well over 6,000 hours of labor and put in over a mile of welding. I continue to upgrade and improve the step and turning functions and to make additional modifications for optimum performance.

What was your goal in building this project?

I had previously built a number of wheeled vehicles and I decided to take on a new challenge. My goal was to create an entirely original type of vehicle that could move without wheels and was large enough to carry passengers.

Does your project help to solve a problem? If so what problem?

The Walking Beast demonstrates the real-life challenges of incorporating a walking linkage system on a very large scale. The sheer size of the project requires careful engineering design to create a strong, balanced and well-functioning machine. I did a lot of research and consulted with others to come up with a workable stepping motion, and then I designed and incorporated a spring system to maintain optimum step trajectory ratios. Custom drive train components were created at maximum workable scale and made of high-alloy steel to withstand the immense stress placed on the working machinery parts.

What makes your idea unique?

The Walking Beast has no equal in that is able to carry passengers and walk without wheels. It is a creation of my own design and I have done nearly all of the work to engineer and build it myself. I am grateful for the help I received from Joe Klann for his assistance in providing the math formulas to use in scaling his patented linkage system to the size needed for The Walking Beast.

In what capacity are you using bearings and what type of bearings?

There are 114 deep groove ball bearings in the linkage system of The Walking Beast. A 19-inch slewing bearing is used in the hydraulically operated lifting/turning disc. There are tapered roller bearings and standard ball bearings in the axle housing, and there are ball bearings and needle bearings in the planetary gear reduction boxes. The transmission has a one-way roller bearing, ball bearings, thrust bearings and bushings. There are a variety of bearings in the gasoline-powered engine that powers The Walking Beast.

What is the most important thing you want people to know about your project?

The Walking Beast is a great example of what can be accomplished by one person who is willing to apply him or herself to complete a personal vision. This project has helped me to learn a lot, and it has attracted the attention of people from all over the world who are also interested in mech robots. Over the past several years The Walking Beast has operated at festivals and appeared on several major TV channels, and one of the many videos posted online showing The Walking Beast in action went viral in the summer of 2011. I have no advanced formal education in engineering or robotics, and the international success of this project demonstrates that anyone can connect with others and follow their dreams using their own ideas, tools and resources. The work I’ve done on this project has motivated me to continue building new creations and to continue to test my abilities to make dreams into reality.

How will you use the $5,000 prize?

The Walking Beast is the first creation in a series of walking machines on my drawing board. As well-loved as this project has come to be, as an inventor and innovator, I am already hard at work on what comes next. A new six-legged walking machine is now in the design stage and I plan to have it functionally complete by late 2013. A $10,000 prize would jumpstart this project and pay for the aluminum, custom machined cam lobes and close to 100 v-roller bearings that will be needed. This funding would allow me to spend more time working on the project in the studio and it would allow me to focus my own resources on other project elements.

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