Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Dinosaurs walked stupid and so do you

One of the problems I'm faced with when doing mech designs for Griffon, is that the "chicken leg" design doesn't work for large robots.



Despite that it looks totally awesome, it would require either an extremely light chassis or incredible metal for any moving joints.

And this is a problem even for a small mech. Anything over the size of a small car would be too much stress. The chicken leg design is definitely not feasible for a large mech. If you've ever built something even a little larger than a human, that has joints, you know what I'm talking about.

WAIT A SECOND! What about Dinosaurs?

That got me curious. So I looked around, and came up empty. Oh I found a lot of people who claimed this or that based on 'computer models', but either they're 'doing computers' wrong, or they're just wrong. I can't imagine the current info on theropod walk cycles is correct, because it's not even practical for a *metal* dinosaur.

I drew you a picture that explains the problem.



I have a number of Paleontologist, Biologist, and mechanical engineers as friends, so I'd be really, really happy to be proven wrong about this. That's the thing though--I need actual proof. So if you know of any papers or theories that might explain how an 8 ton creature could walk on two legs, with theropod leg structure, please let me know!

-Chilton


1 comment:

Jheuloh said...

While I cannot be a definitive source, I can direct you to several people who could provide citations for why the evidence favors the depiction presented.

Although, you're actually a little vague in your screenshot; are you questioning the digitigrade limb structure? (Where the ankles are raised off the ground) Or are you doubting the positioning of the leg rather than its structure? (Where in the screenshot, it looks as if in that part of the stride depicted, the animal is bearing all of its weight on the tips of its digits.)

I am unsure of where the papers supporting (or perhaps falsifying) the depiction seen in the image would be located. There is a chance these people would (or can directly contact who does.)
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/ Darren Naish's Tetrapod Zoology III.

http://archosaurmusings.wordpress.com/ David Hone's Archosaur Musings.

http://skeletaldrawing.blogspot.com/ Scott Hartman, artist who illustrated an image to accompany a paper demonstrating the importance of tails in locomotion.

http://h2vp.blogspot.com/ Paleobiomechanics.