Be lazy, and get somewhere at the same time

Cruise the beach in comfortable Jamaican style with this motorized hammock. [Stephen Shaffer] and his friends built it for the Red Bull Creation contest which has as its number one requirement, the need to include an Arduino. We’re basically looking at a hammock frame made out of square pipe that has been put on wheels. Watch the video after the break to see the prototyping, construction, and final product. Looks like originally the electric wheelchair base that’s used for propulsion was centered below the hammock. One sharp turn and the rider/operator gets dumped out on the concrete.

The final version includes a couple of wheels that serve as outriggers, keeping the vehicle upright. A PlayStation 2 controller is used for steering and directional control. It’s polled by the Arduino, which then uses servo motors to control the original wheelchair joystick. At least that’s what we were able to figure out by watching the video.


  1. theodore says:


  2. Terry says:

    What’s that net over the cooler? I’d like to get one of those but don’t know what they’re called.

  3. Bill says:

    Hmm, I wonder if they used my PS2 Controller Arduino Library?

  4. computerhobo says:

    HAH! Only missing one component… SUNBRELLA!

  5. MrX says:

    I would do it with a bed instead, with a integrated condom storage :D

  6. Steve C. says:

    That’s Virginia Beach, Va in the video; 10 miles up the road from my house. I’m surprised this thing hasn’t caused a buzz around here.

  7. hawkeyaez1 says:

    Kinect it!

  8. hawkeyaez1 says:

    And, yes, for the record, I do realize a Kinect is a bit too much for the required Arduino to manage…

  9. supershwa says:

    Smells like Burning Man. :P

  10. Hirudinea says:

    Here is my cheque book, here is a pen, write down any number and I will pay it!

  11. nes says:

    The comfier hammocks are the ones without sticks stretching them out.

  12. Parcanman says:

    I like seeing projects that involve an Arduino, but I’m less impressed by ones like this that could function fine without one and only have it for the sake of having it. Using servos to move the original joystick is just plain lazy when you could spend 3 bucks on an L298N and drive the motors directly from the Arduino.

  13. Twerpling says:


    I agree, unfortunately one of the rules of the Redbull Contest was to use an Arduino.

  14. dfvsfvsv says:

    Terry: bungie net. check your local motorcycle shop

  15. Yes, We used the PS2X library v1.6! There were many plans, automatic swinging, LED lights all over (there are some, but not very visible during the day), solar rechargeable, cup holder arms and more to be controlled by the PS2 controller. However time was our enemy and we focused on the main project til the last day!

    We only had to interface with servo motors because of “proprietary programming” by a certain wheelchair manufacturer, in the short time period we had, they’re engineers and my logic sniffer failed to give me usable data, and we went Xzibit style – yo dog, we heard you liked joysticks, so we put in a joystick to control your joystick!

  16. ThinkLabs says:

    Sick! One of those guys is in my Circuit analysis class at ODU. Congrats on the article!

  17. Pejeno says:

    That’s so stupid!

    I’ma need to give it a test drive for two months, you know, for security purposes.

  18. madis_l says:

    I will wait for russian model – big moving masonary heater. Ofcouce Your name shold be Ivan to command it :)

  19. blue carbuncle says:

    It would be awesome if it caught on fire.

  20. willow says:

    This project is full of win!

    Where was the video taken? Looks familiar to me.

  21. soopergooman says:

    man do I ever need one of these, I see a great market potential for this. kinda reminds me of the chairs in Wall*E. someday(hopefully) this will be the way everyone gets around.

  22. Rick says:

    It needs to drive itself so you can take a nap or read a book.

  23. ourbite says:

    Definitely smells like Burning Man.

    But nice to see the hooks on this one for inertial guidance…

  24. blackman says:


  25. blackman says:

    @ soopergoodman

    Did you not learn anything from WallE?

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