Today we brainstormed and eventually created prototypes of our moving animal project. We initially designed a complicated dolphin involving gears, string and a large number of joints but soon realized that this idea would be not be practical and sought out a simpler design. My partner and I settled on building a moving tail controlled a circular joint and a rubber band, the gears from the previous version of our project were repurposed into the dolphins body.
This video shows a mechanism imitating a birds flapping wings. Although birds and dolphins are hardly similar, the movement of a bird's wings and a swimming dolphin's body are very much alike. This video shows how the amplitude of the tail, or in this case the wing, is increased the further away from the body the tail is, giving this movement a fluid appearance.
A water bear figurine that moves in a way that is representative of the animal's true motion, utilizing connected parts to orchestrate simultaneous motion.
Presented with the challenge of recreating and modeling an animals motion, I decided to try to represent the motion of an animal so small that its movement almost always go unnoticed. I found that the most compelling motion of the Waterbear came in the distinctive motion of its mouth which moves seemingly in and out of its body, and the juxtaposition of its back legs motion compared to its front. I attempted to capture both of these distinctive aspects. To represent the mouth I modeled a series of concentric and self contained cylinders to mimic the in and out, almost plunger, motion of the Waterbear's mouth. For the legs I reversed the orientation of the back to legs mimicking the orientation in the creature itself. Additionally I worked quite a bit in Rhino to capture the most realistic body shape possible. This ended up being somewhat of a challenge and I worked with several different curve commands in Rhino to refine the shape. Finally I assembled the orthographic creature and connected the three front legs to move in sync, as down by the Waterbear itself. As such, my Waterbear model would move in a convincing and accurate way mimicking the complex and dynamic animal motion.
In the beginning of our project, we decided to focus our animal on a frog. At first we wanted our frog to leap and stick to whatever surface it would land on. While creating our sketches and creating our prototypes, we figured out that it would be quite difficult to make this possible so we decided to make our project much simpler. In the diagrams above, we made our frog move its front arms back and forth by pulling two pieces of cardboard in between its two bodies. We had to figure out how we wanted the arms to move, how to keep the arms in place, and how we could make it easy for the arms to move. Our project of course isn't perfect, but we believe we completed our frog to the best of our ability and is totally functional.
The Porcuphant is a hand-powered kinetic creature based on what you would get by crossing Porcupine with an Elephant. Our hours of iterations come together to make the ultimate Porcupine-Elephant experience.
The inspiration for the Porcuphant came from a problem; a clear lack of affordable, easy to use, versatile combination of Porcupines and Elephants. The solution was the Porcuphant. A cardboard, easy-to-make, moving animal. The Porcuphant is perfect for toddlers, adults, and everyone looking for a fun and versatile toy to burn off some stress with.
The Porcuphant utilizes a unique cog/quill mechanism. Turning the trunk will cause the quills to be pushed up and down by the continuous cog. The Porcuphant is made of cardboard, with the quills and trunk made out of plastic, and the cam rod out of wood.