Terry Pratchett in his Discworld series has Twoflower arrive in Ankh-Morpork with his Luggage,
a travel chest made of sapient pearwood which moves around on dozens of little legs. Sometimes
the Luggage contains clothing, sometimes gold, lots of it, for Twoflower's homeland has plenty, and
sometimes teeth, lots of teeth, which devour any would-be gold thief. It also holds Twoflower's
camera, maps, guidebooks and his many tourist purchases, such as local artworks.
The StrandBeest Mechanism
I started with a cut-down StrandBeest, the fan has been removed and some plastic bits trimmed in places.
This provides the legs and will have a cam on the central crank to open and slam the lid. A free-wheel
ratchet will ensure that this happens when going forward but not in reverse. The manual drive shaft is
seen in the foreground
The chest structure is made of balsa wood. It is dimensioned to be a snug fit over the legs, and high
enough above the ground so the legs can be seen. There is a hole at one end for the manual drive
shaft to be inserted.
Chest Structure, adding the legs
This vid shows how the legs fit under the chest structure. The chest is almost square because it has to
fit over the mechanism and allow room for its 'knees' to function. It turned out to be a really snug fit.
The mechanism frame can be seen projecting through the top, this will be covered over later.
Photos of The Luggage from movie The Colour of Magic
I took some photos of The Luggage as it appeared in the movie The Colour of Magic. These help to establish
the shape of the lid and some of the detail of bands, hinges and locks. I'll try to copy these though perhaps
not at that exquisite level of detail.
Drawing of Lid
Chest with Lid attatched on Hinges
The lid mechanism consists of a cam on the leg crankshaft and a lever within the chest which follows the cam and
projects up through the chest to lift the lid. The cam shape raises the lid slowly and then lets it slam shut.
The teeth were found on google images. The pic will be split horizontally, pasted to strips of balsa wood and
cemented to the chest and lid.
There wasn't enough space to add the voice box inside The Luggage, so it is external. It is a Shenzhen voice card
with ISD 1820 voice chip, complete with microphone, giving ten seconds of playback. The card, speaker and coin
cell are shoehorned into a small plastic case. The scream and the belch are free downloads, cloud edited to fit
within the available ten seconds. The Voice Box sounds can be re-recorded for use on future projects.
In Full War-Paint
Here is a final vid of the luggage in full war-paint, this being the dark brown colour of sapient pearwood,
with teeth fully grown. Not the sort of character one might wish to meet on a dark night.