The torso, neck, tail, and appendages are helical masts. The wings are hemispherical tensegrities, with spherical tensegrities as the hubs to link them. The structure is animated using a single external actuator line connected to a reciprocating motor. The oscillation travels throughout the length of the dragon and a sinusoidal movement can be maintained with very little input of energy.
Context: Tom Flemons Archive
Oscillations in the dragon
(May 25, 2015) I built a 25 foot Dragon almost 30 years ago that incorporated helical masts for the torso, the neck, the tail, and appendages and used hemispherical tensegrities as wings and spherical tensegrities as the hubs to link them. I found ways to knit the entire structure together and then animated it using a single external actuator line connected to a reciprocating motor. This set up an oscillation that traveled throughout its length and by tweaking the periodicity I could amplify and maintain a sinusoidal movement with very little input of energy.