RAMP WALK TOY
WHAT IS A RAMP WALK TOY?
Ramp walkers are cool toys that “walk” down ramps or in some case are pulled along a flat table by a weight on a string hanging over the edge of a table.
They are toys that move down an inclined plane powered by gravity in different shapes and sizes as ducks, rabbits, kangaroos, elephants etc. The physics & maths behind these ramp walker toys are very interesting.
The ramp walker is an antique toy model that dates back as far as the 1930s. Made out of wood, traditional ramp walkers are made of three pieces: a body with a fixed leg, a moving leg, and a hinge-joint that attaches the two. As the name implies, ramp walkers do require some kind of downhill incline in order to get the momentum that they need, since they have no inner mechanics, such as a windup spring. However, when placed on a small ramp, the combination of inertia, mass distribution, and leg geometry make it seem as though they are ‘walking’ downhill all on their own. Just like a windup toy uses potential energy stored in a spring, the walking toy uses potential energy as it descends downhill. “However, unlike a windup toy that has an intricate mechanism, the walking toy relies on its: mass distribution, inertia, and leg geometry to amble downhill, and explained in the following videos: