It has been a hobby for a number of years to develop a bicycle without wheels that could
walk. It would move on legs and resemble a large insect. A linkage was developed that
satisfied the design criteria and several small-scale prototypes were built that demonstrated
the concept. Applications for the linkage go beyond human-powered machines. The links are
connected by pivot joints and convert the rotating motion of the crank into the movement of a
foot similar to that of an animal walking.
Two of these legs coupled together at the crank can act as a wheel replacement and provide
vehicles with a greater ability to handle obstacles and travel across uneven terrain while
providing a smooth even ride. Initially it was called the SpiderBike but the applications for
this linkage have expanded well beyond the initial design purpose of a human-powered walking
machine. This linkage could be utilized almost anywhere a wheel is employed from small wind-up
toys to large vehicles capable of transporting people.
The relationships for the linkage have been established and are covered by several patents. The simplicity and scalability of the walking device, along with a little imaginative engineering, lead to numerous possibilities
Mondo Spider Crew
British Columbia, Canada
The Klann linkage provides many of the benefits of more advanced walking vehicles without
some of their limitations. It can step over curbs, climb stairs, or travel into areas that are
currently not accessible with wheels but does not require microprocessor control or multitudes
of inefficient actuator mechanisms. It fits into the technological void between these walking
devices and axel-driven wheels.
An interactive display of this linkage is posted at Mechanisms101 . This site has a range of animations on topics that would be of interest to anyone studying dynamics and kinematics.