Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Compilation video of a assorted wooden ramp-walker toy designs

Walking rhino toy

We've featured the work of Roberto Lou Ma many times here on The Automata Blog. As you may recall, he designs wooden toys that are able to walk down a slight incline. Some of his designs have free plans, such as the ramp-walking wooden robot and the a ramp-walking wooden rhino toy.

In the video shown here, we get to see the breadth of his creativity within this genre. There are wooden ramp walkers depicting penguins, turkeys, whales, robots, apes, celebrities, elephants, monsters, dinosaurs, and more. A full 5 minutes of gravity-powered wooden toys that show true creativity.

Something that struck me on a few of the figures was the presence of an animated limb -- the troubadour's hand for example. A counterweight on an axis running parallel to the ramp has allowed the figure a secondary motion (strumming the guitar) that adds life and subtlety to the character. It's amazing how so many of them have been designed to capture some essential aspect of how the figure should move -- all within some tight physical constraints. Bravo!

Here is Roberto Lou Ma's YouTube channel, where you can see individual clips of his ramp-walkers and other wooden toys.

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Anonymous Kate said...

Wow! I haven't heard of these before. Fantastic toys, I will be definitely have a closer look into Roberto Lou Ma's work. Many Thanks, Kate.

August 11, 2014 at 9:08 PM  

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