I need help motorizing a remote control strandbeest-type walker.

I need help motorizing a remote control strandbeest-type walker.

Hi, I was hoping I could get some help with the transmitter and motors for an RC strandbeest project. I have no experience whatsoever with RC motors or components, and I’m having a hard time figuring out the space of possibilities, but I do have a pretty good idea of what I want for this particular project.

The goal is to have tank-style controls, where there’s a motor and axle that controls 3 pairs of feet on the left, and a separate motor and axle that controls another 3 pairs of feet on the right. I’d like to use a two-stick controller with analogue controls, so pushing the left stick slightly forward makes the left side move slowly forward, pushing the left stick all the way forward makes the left side move quickly forward, etc.

This thing is mostly 3D printed, and this is what I have so far, one side, with 2 of the 3 leg pairs attached. It’s rigged up with a motor I scavenged from an RC car.


This is the walker in motion (sorry for the cruddy quality) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ2t4dQhsL8

It can’t walk yet unfortunately, since it doesn’t have enough legs to balance on.

Googling for information about RC motors has been a bit of a nightmare, especially since I know what I want and can’t ever quite seem to find exactly what I’m looking for. My understanding is that I’ll need a transmitter, a receiver, an ESC, a battery, and a pair of motors. I don’t think motor size is an issue, the dinky little motor that I’m using now is already geared down 40:1, and I think I need to make it even slower.

So, finally, my questions:
1) Are there off the shelf parts that will work for this? The analogue transmitter and an ESC that will handle that input are the things I’m having a hard time researching with google.

2) Can I put this together without doing any soldering? I’ve never so much as held a soldering iron and I’d like to avoid it. If that’s not realistic, let me know :p I suppose I’ll do it if I have to but I’m really trying to control the scope of this project.

3) Do people do this sort of stuff on commission? I’d love to patronize someone on etsy (or something like that) who can put a motor kit together, if I can’t get off the shelf parts. I just mean the electronics, I can model and print the mounting hardware and gearing myself no problem.



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