Walker (machine)

Walker (machine)

A walker is a vehicle that moves on legs rather than wheels or tracks. Walkers 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).

One of the first appearances of such machines in modern literature was the "tripods" of H. G. Wells' famous "The War of the Worlds". The novel does not contain a complete description of the tripod's (or "fighting-machine", as they are known in the novel) locomotion. Such fictional machines are today known throughout online communities as "mecha".

While the mobility of walkers is arguably higher than that of wheeled or tracked vehicles, their inherent complexity has limited their use mainly to experimental vehicles, primarily robots. Such difficulties have let them be primarily known in fictional works. Real life, larger manned walker vehicles have existed, however, with examples being General Electric's walking truck, the University of Duisburg-Essen's ALDURO, and John Deere's hexapod Walking Forest Machine.

One-legged walkers, hoppers, have been built with some success, but currently the more common walkers are toys like the bipedal QRIO and ASIMO, and the quadruped AIBO.

ee also

* Artificial powered exoskeleton
* Chicken walker
* Gait
* Locomotion
* Robotics

External links

* [http://www.micromagicsystems.com/robotics micromagic systems] - Matt Denton's hexapod walking robots - video and pictures.
* [http://www.mechatronik.uni-duisburg.de/robotics/alduro/2005_Sommerakademie_Germann_Paper.pdf - ALDURO hybrid walking rolling vehicle] .
* [http://www.strandbeest.com/ Theo Jansen's wind-powered beach robots]
* [http://www.vincelewis.net/diggers.html/ Big Muskie] - Biggest excavator officially produced in the USA, possibly the biggest walker ever produced
* http://www.bdi.com/content/sec.php?section=BigDog

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