Watch a Wild 'Walking Table' Take Its First Bold Steps

A Dutch maker built a table that can get around on its own. Walk this way, furniture.

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
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Leslie Katz
2 min read
eight-legged walking table

Who needs movers when your table can get around on its own? 

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Giliam de Carpentier's a proud father. His baby has taken its first steps.  

That baby's a sleek-looking 12-legged table de Carpentier built to get around on its own. "Turns out my table can actually WALK as well as I hoped it would," the Dutch maker tweeted excitedly last week along with a video of the furniture in motion. The capital letters are entirely appropriate here, as they emphasize the table's highly unusual skill. 

The table has two motors. de Carpentier modified them using small Arduino computer controllers to alter their supply of electricity, ensuring the table legs move smoothly and at the desired pace. 

He based his laminated bamboo legs on those propelling the Strandbeest, a kinetic bio-mechanical sculpture designed by Dutch artist Theo Jansen. de Carpentier made his table legs stronger and more stable by adding an extra joint.     

"Is there a high demand for tables chasing after workers? I know that companies are trying to end WFH, but this is getting out of hand," one Redditor joked in response to de Carpentier's Reddit post about the table.

So why did de Carpentier, an engineer for a gaming company, build a walking table? Because he's a maker -- and he could. de Carpentier didn't share the cost of the table, only that it took "more hours than bucks."

"Really impressive," wrote another Redditor. "I may, though, have nightmares tonight thinking of this table chasing me at high speeds."

The ambulatory table isn't the first to traverse our planet. Wouter Scheublin, another Dutch designer, built one in 2006 that walks when pushed. It has eight legs, and attempts to mimic a natural walking motion so it can better fit in when striding through crowds of humans. 

Another more recent walking table called Crawla can be operated via app and walk for a full three hours before puttering out and snapping, "I'm done. Back to being a regular table."