Few people can claim to have created their very own form of synthetic life but Dutch artist and engineer Theo Jansen takes great pride in his creations called the Strandbeest, an autonomous robotic form of living sculpture. Jansen has always been fascinated by the life of mechanical creatures, he dreamed of creating natural robots that have a life of their own. This obsession has become a very close facsimile to the dream.
Now Theo has released miniature Strandbeest kits that anyone can purchase and build, bringing these miniature living sculptures to life with a little patience and a gentle breeze. Two of his famous autonomous sculptures are now available as DIY kits; the Strandbeest and Rhinoceros are real working versions of their larger original big brothers.
The full sized sculptures use ingenious mechanical systems that take on a life of their own in even the slightest breeze. Working on his robotic children for over 20 years the designs have evolved into enormous highly fascinating plastic automatons. Many of the creatures even have mechanisms to store captured energy and release the stored energy slowly to keep things moving on gusty days. Mechanical intelligence is also integrated that allows the beast to steer themselves away from the waterline at the beach.
Made from the simplest materials combined in ingenious ways Jansen’s unique forms of life are mostly constructed from PVC and recycled plastic. The energy storage system uses recycled soft drink bottles to store the compressed air.
Now homes everywhere can have their own fascinating plastic wind driven pets with the kits available for purchase online from many stores; ThinkGeek, BangGood and GrandIllusions amongst others.
Proving what the power of pure imagination and a creative spirit can achieve the Strandbeests have been unleashed on the world, adding just a touch of colour to a world hungry for stimulation.