IEEE International conference on Robotics and Automation, 3, 1640-1645, 1990
History of Passive Dynamics and Toys
Passive Dynamic robots were invented and initially developed by aeronautical engineer Tad McGeer between 1988 and 1992, as inspired by simpler calculations from a decade earlier of Tom McMahon at Harvard and McMahon's student Simon Mochon. McMahon, in turn, had been inspired by a toy he was given in the early 1950s, probably a "Wilson Walkie".
VIDEO: McGeer's First Walker With Knees (MOV) (13.8 MB)
The McGeer video shows the first time he tried a walker with knees, and then the first time he got it to walk without falling.
Old patents of walking toys (PDF)
Fallis, 1888 | Bechstein, 1912 | Mahan, 1914 | Allison, 1916 | Wilson, 1938 | Paolo, 1993
VIDEO: Steinkamp talk at Cornell in Dec 2008 of table top locomotion (MOV) (44.1MB)
Link to more videos at Peter Steinkamp's passive toys and machines
Last edits by Jen Cheu 6/16/09