Product Idea

Walking Triceratops

As a child my favourite things were Lego, dinosaurs and robots. Years later, I’ve combined these three elements in a creative building feat.

This project brings my favourite dinosaur, the Triceratops, back to life. Featuring a smooth walking motion, swinging tail and bobbing head all driven by a single motor. It has taken me five years and many prototypes to develop this.


Ever since I got my first technic set (8020) in the 1980’s, I’ve been interested in mechanisms and making things move. I still remember when I first saw the quad-walking creation on page 8 of the Technic Ideas book 8890; Unfortunately, I lacked the right pieces to try building it myself. As a child I never did manage to make a four legged walking contraption.

Fast forward to 2014, I’m now a father and have gotten back into Lego (big time). There are so many Lego resources and inspiration to be found online. I came across JK Brickworks’ video of his Kinetic horse and was amazed with how smooth its running motion was. Hours of web exploration led me to Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s incredible feat of engineering, Strandbeest. It piqued my curiosity, both intrigued and inspired I wondered, was it possible for me to create something similar, but with Lego? I pulled out some of my old Technic pieces and began building. It took a while, but I managed to build a four-legged walking mechanism. I had achieved my childhood dream, now it was time to take it further… Why not combine my all three of my childhood passions?

My first builds were rough, you could recognise that they were dinosaurs, but still there was something lacking. During this time I had also been to a few Lego Expos and had seen Great Ball Contraptions (GBC). They were amazing, I had never seen so many interesting mechanisms. One of the most fascinating GBC modules featured had six dragon like heads picking up balls, bending their neck and then releasing the balls. I wondered if I could utilise a similar mechanism on the head and neck of my dino. I wiled away many hours working on the development of my walking dinosaur project, trying to add as much movement as I could running off one motor.

I eventually succeeded in making walking dinosaurs, however I hadn’t quite perfected their outward appearance. The kids seemed to like them, fascinated by their seemingly life like ability to wander around of their own accord, but others disliked the technical look. I began to work on adding standard Lego bricks around my technic frame to make it look more realistic.

In this project, I’ve shown how Technic and standard Lego bricks techniques can be used together to create something that’s both functional and beautiful at the same time.

I hope you like it and thanks in advance if your support it.

Kind Regards,
Dan Brick Builds.


References
Theo Jansen's Stradbeest: https://www.strandbeest.com/