A Strange New Life, Roaming the Beaches of Holland


Theo Jansen is a rather inspired Dutch sculptor, who for the last ten years has been developing a fascinating cross between robotics and kinetic sculpture. His ‘strandbeests’ or ‘beach animals’ use a form of rather beguiling biomimicry, and are constructed from plastic sheeting and old electrical conduit.

The ‘strandbeests’ walk with articulated legs, and motive power is supplied by wings or propellers. So his creations can still move if the wind dies down, Jensen utilises old plastic drink bottles to store compressed air as an energy source.

Potentially, someone could augment similar kinetic sculptures with some passive sensors, an Arduino controller, and a parabolic solar powered death ray … that’s it, I might steer clear of the beach for a while.

Animaris Umerus – Part 2 from Alexander Schlichter on Vimeo.

More information about Theo Jensen and his amazing creations can be found at his website.

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