dainty walkers


A very worthwhile-to-visit website is the one of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA. Here one can e.g. surf to the remarkable ANTS – Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm webpage (also autonomous in terms of graphic design…).
On this page there is a lot to discover and especially the videos on the site breath the air of scientific exitement. In particular I liked the page with the NASA dainty walkers, like e.g. the tetwalkers, but Lara – the movie – is also definitely supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

I didn’t download the ANTS VRML TetWalkerControl plugin, but rather tried to built my own tetrahedron walker with springs world 3D – a 3D version of the famous sodaconstructor (which had an update lately). Springs world 3D is a processing applet by italian math and physics teacher Marcello Falco.

My little tetrahedron walker (see above image) took a few minutes to build and of course it didn’t move as elegantly as the NASA one (probably mainly because I did no finetuning of the phases – I am anyway not sure wether the NASA model has a fixed phase relation (the video-tetwalker has stearable contraction as it seems)). However the processing main loop made my computer swap, which finished all activity :(.

There is also a forum of the 3D springs world over at soda constructor/sodarace in particular a thread about dainty walkers. Looks as may be Marcello Falco and the soda crew join forces :). ?.

Last not least if you are fed up with the virtual world of “dainty” walkers, I recommend the dainty walkers by Theo Jansen called strandbeests (which means probably something like beachmonster). I haven’t seen them in real, but the videos are very impressive.

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