Theo Jansen: like the professor from Gilligan

[Theo Jansen] is building lifeforms that will live and thrive on the beach. He calls them StrandBeest and uses PVC electrical conduit, plastic tubing, and lemonade bottles as building material. The many-legged creations are amazingly advanced, able to count steps, sense and flee from the water’s edge, and protect themselves from high wind. He gave a TED talk back in 2007 that we’ve embedded after the break; it’s uncanny. See examples of his creations using fans and sails to store wind energy as compressed air in the lemonade bottles, then use that pressure for locomotion. He also demonstrates a binary step counter and water sensor.

[Thanks Eric]

56 thoughts on “Theo Jansen: like the professor from Gilligan

  1. one thing he didn’t put thought:
    speech

    Wouldn’t it be easy to put some sort of tubes with a bottle on the other end and when it blows you can hear “KIiiiillLLL MEEE PLEEAAASE!”

  2. A jaw dropper. Has anyone told NASA? Or any other body wanting long lasting, self propelled vehicles for exploration or sustained and remote/unmanned investigation?

  3. Don’t you all realize that you’re infact engaging in philosophical discourse throughout your entire discussion?! Well, maybe at least an attempt at, but your entire conversation has roots in philosophy. What a bunch of idiots.

  4. where is the information on the pneumatic engines’ (lemonade bottles) construction? how does he do that?

  5. Actually these machines are close to being able to be classified as animals. An animal is something made of an organic material that can move, has a brain system, and can reproduce. He’s pretty close.

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