Jayhiker

Jayhiker animation

This is another idea that has been biding its time in the back of my head for a long time: since about the time I walked the Wainwright’s Coast-to-Coast Walk, from St. Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay in the UK. It was partly inspired by one of Jan van Haasteren‘s drawings on the birthday calendar in my parent’s home. It was a gift calendar from the local aquarium & fishing shop and the drawing were all related to fishing. This particular one showed a hydraulic arm mounted on the side of a canal, so that a comfy seat mounted at the end could be positioned above the water. It was equipped with a parasol, drinks plateau, radio / tv, fridge and whatnot, and the well-to-do owner did not even hold the fishing rod – it supposedly had an automatic builtin fishing robot.

This Jayhiker that came to mind while hiking is similar, in that it takes the notion of exclusive gear to such a ridiculous extreme that it not just misses the point of what it is supposed to be for (the user does not do the walking any longer), but it turns the countryside into a ridiculous kind of playground where people with way too much money who are bored with mountainbiking, can break their necks in a very innovative way.

Another reason to create this thing was to try and create a fully rigged and articulated model of a piece of machinery that is at least mechanically realistic. The legs of the robot walker could operate like this at least mechanically, though I don’t know if the whole set-up would really work with a power source like the diesel engine that I supplied it with, nor if any sort of balance could be maintained in reality.

Modelling and animation done with Blender; the character was made with the Manuel Bastioni Lab plugin.

The animation above is an OpenGL preview: rendering a raytraced animation on my laptop would take way too long, but the pictures below are raytraced (Blender cycles).