Republic asked me to share a little about my story after seeing my smartphone-controlled ClearWalker Strandbeest, which, is featured in this video.
The device is made out of clear polycarbonate, and walks using the same principle as Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest. Mine, however, uses motors to move it’s legs, and control is provided by my Republic Moto G4 phone, which interfaces with the 'beest using a Bluetooth connection and a controller app. More info on the control scheme can be found here.
As you might suspect from the fact that the ClearWalker seems to be featured walking along the beach quite frequently, I’m from a coastal area, in fact, near Clearwater, Florida. While that name may seem like a silly pun, it’s hopefully also quite easy to remember.
As far as my phone service goes, I’ve been a customer of Republic for several years, and my wife and I both have the MyChoice plan. While it does save us money, I work at home, so paying for an always-available Internet connection seems unnecessary. Besides, it’s good to enjoy what’s going on without the constant distraction of having the world’s information at your fingertips.
On the other hand, when the hurricane hit here last year, it was great to be able to tether to my phone and keep my business running, as normal Internet connectivity was spotty at best. Republic temporarily upgraded our plans for free, which was really great.
The whole story of the walker can be found in this series of videos, showing off gigantic early prototypes, to a tiny version, a little bit larger device, and finally the ClearWalker.
Perhaps I’ll return to do more work on the ClearWalker or a future iteration, but I seem to always have some other project on my plate that I’ve come up with!