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TSATS: Technic Water Strider


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#1 Splat

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 03:15 PM

Here is my entry for the 'To sail the Technic sea' contest: a Technic Water Strider (or 'gerridae').

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Gerridae, or water striders, are anatomically built to transfer their weight to be able to run on top of the water’s surface.  Water striders use the high surface tension of water and long, hydrophobic legs to help them stay above water.  Gerridae species use this surface tension to their advantage through their highly adapted legs and distributed weight. The legs of a water strider are long and slender, providing the weight of the water strider body to be distributed over a much larger surface area. The legs are strong, but have flexibility that allows the water striders to keep their weight evenly distributed and flow with the water movement.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerridae

You can see some more information about water striders and the way that they move on water in this YouTube video : Richard Hammond's Invisible Worlds - Water Strider

I originally wanted to use a Windup Motor but it didn't have enough power or enough turns when wound up (it has about 8 turns).  I ended up using an M-Motor for propulsion, but the battery box is external and uses a tether to control the water strider.  There is no steering in this model.

The mechanism that moves the middle and rear legs uses a modified version of Sariel's Octopod mechanism.  The middle legs move in an elliptical motion, and have rubber tips to give them grip and help my water strider move forward when it is 'on land'.  When my water strider is in the water, the rubber tips are replaced with 6x6 radar dishes that act as paddles or oars.

To get my water strider to float in water I used the hemispheres from the Death Star Planet set.  The hole in the top can be blocked using a 1x1 round plate, and this provided enough floatation to stop my water strider from sinking when it isn't moving.

Unfortunately when my water strider is moving, or when the water is a bit choppy, the hemispheres on the rear legs flood and sink, so I had to use some ping pong balls for a little bit more floatation.  This was a last minute solution to my problem, and I hope it is ok.  I would have used the balls from the Mindstorms sets if I had any of them.

Here is a quick video of my Water Strider in action:



I took the video of the water strider in the fountain at the back of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne, Australia (StreetView link).  The fishing line in the video is just so my water strider didn't float away out of reach   :laugh: .

Here are a few more images of my water strider:

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These photos and more can be seen in higher resolution in my BrickShelf folder (once they have been moderated/approved).

I have also created building instructions for this model if you would like to build a copy.

Edited by Splat, 10 April 2013 - 02:07 AM.


#2 bb15080

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 03:19 PM

great entry. something totally different :thumbup:
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#3 Zblj

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 05:07 PM

Doesnt get more unique than that! Awesome, really great idea! Does it also walk?

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#4 timslegos

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:38 PM

Definitely a solid entry!  nice job.

tim

#5 efferman

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:50 PM

this strider has a very good chance to win. i love it
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#6 Tomik

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:54 PM

Cool creation! Even I don't like insect much in real your strider is awesome and I think it would be great theme for Technic. I would like to see video that shows your strider's functions. Good luck in contest!
My website with building instructions for alternative models - buildinst
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#7 Lipko

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:03 PM

I want one.
This is the mostest awesomest entry.

*one eye cries one eye smiles

#8 Splat

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:33 AM

@everyone - Thank you for your kind comments   :sweet:

View PostZblj, on 01 April 2012 - 05:07 PM, said:

Doesnt get more unique than that! Awesome, really great idea! Does it also walk?
Yes, it sure does.  I tried to mimic the movements that I saw in Richard Hammond's video.  It's not too elegant on land, but it would be better on water (but I don't want to get my M-Motor wet).

View PostTomik, on 01 April 2012 - 06:54 PM, said:

Cool creation! Even I don't like insect much in real your strider is awesome and I think it would be great theme for Technic. I would like to see video that shows your strider's functions. Good luck in contest!
Thanks Tomik.  I have created a quick video that shows how this Lego Technic Water Strider 'walks' (please see the video I added to my opening post).

Edited by Splat, 07 April 2012 - 11:59 AM.


#9 Finntech

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 08:45 AM

There's so many great and stunning entryes in this competition, but this water strider is my personal favorite. It looks so real, I bet my wife would be scared to see that thing on the kitchen table!  :laugh:

Good luck.  :thumbup:

#10 PaulBaldowski

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:08 AM

That is awesome. I used to collect a lot of Technic because of the incredible building potential - but this sort of thing blows any thoughts I might have had right out of the water. I would pay through the nose to get a set like this - official or otherwise. Well, I would, but I'm not sure my wife would approve!

#11 Zaiocrit

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:43 AM

Very nice !  :thumbup:

#12 Mas Bambang

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:30 PM

Beautiful creation!

#13 grohl

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:07 PM

This is just pure awesomeness.

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I know the pieces fit.


#14 Milan

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 02:39 PM

One of my three favourites!
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#15 Thelonious monk

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:23 AM

absolutely amazing, one of my favorites. Very original idea and well executed!

#16 Splat

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:58 AM

@everyone - Thanks again for your kind comments   :grin:

View Postgrohl, on 03 April 2012 - 01:07 PM, said:

This is just pure awesomeness.
@grohl - I have admired your work for a long time, especially your organic models (I love your prey mantis), so your comment really means a lot to me.   :sweet:


Entry update:
I took my Water Strider out today and took some photos and a video of it 'walking on water'.  I have updated my opening post accordingly.

I have also updated the video that I had, so be sure to watch the new version (the 1st half is the same, in the 2nd half you can see it 'walk on water').

Once again, thank you all for your kind comments, and I wish everyone 'good luck' in the contest.


@Siegfried (aka Sinner) - Firstly, thank you for organising this contest.  :thumbup:
I have updated my opening post to only show seven images and one video.  I thought that is was important to keep the source photo of a real water strider for reference, so I have kept that in my post, but it is included as one of the seven images.  If there is anything else I need to do to fix up my entry please let me know, otherwise consider my entry finalised (and the photo that you have used in the index is perfect).

#17 DLuders

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:21 PM

Cool MOC!    :thumbup:

Edited by Sinner, 10 April 2012 - 09:23 AM.
Removed duplicate video


#18 efferman

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

what does he use for these white balls/ cylinders?
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#19 Omikron

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:45 PM

View Postefferman, on 07 April 2012 - 01:26 PM, said:

what does he use for these white balls/ cylinders?

Could be this

#20 Splat

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 02:03 PM

View PostDLuders, on 07 April 2012 - 01:21 PM, said:

Cool MOC!    :thumbup:
Thanks DLuders.  I have included that video in my opening post too.

View Postefferman, on 07 April 2012 - 01:26 PM, said:

what does he use for these white balls/ cylinders?

View PostOmikron, on 07 April 2012 - 01:45 PM, said:

Could be this
That is exactly correct.  They look white on the video, but they are actually LBG.  There is a small hole at the top, but you can seal the hole with a 1x1 round plate, or anything with a single stud.  There is no bottom, but they act similar to a diving bell where they trap a bubble of air to provide floatation.  I have updated my opening post with more details.

#21 efferman

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:14 PM

very clever solution :thumbup:
need some vitamin ABS intravenously?
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#22 Darth Dino

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:16 PM

Hi

as biologist i really have to comment your Incredible MOC. Iam a specialist in beetles (not bugs) but the shape, the dimensions and sizes are very precise. I really like to looknof the torso and head. Even the angles of the legs are quite good.

I would recommend that MOC for the contest hust for the look and design.

But it has a working functionallity that makes it even better! Veyr well done!

Dino
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#23 Splat

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:32 AM

View Postefferman, on 07 April 2012 - 03:14 PM, said:

very clever solution :thumbup:
Thanks efferman   :sweet:

View PostDarth Dino, on 07 April 2012 - 07:16 PM, said:

Hi

as biologist i really have to comment your Incredible MOC. Iam a specialist in beetles (not bugs) but the shape, the dimensions and sizes are very precise. I really like to looknof the torso and head. Even the angles of the legs are quite good.

I would recommend that MOC for the contest hust for the look and design.

But it has a working functionallity that makes it even better! Veyr well done!

Dino
@Dino - Thank you very much for your kind words   :sweet:

#24 Combee

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:50 PM

This is so cool! Great job on the model and I'm very impressed that you actually made it work!

#25 Splat

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:34 AM

View PostCombee, on 16 April 2012 - 06:50 PM, said:

This is so cool! Great job on the model and I'm very impressed that you actually made it work!
Thanks Combee, and thanks for the votes   :grin:



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