(Credit: I-Wei Huang)
Theo Jansen's Strandbeests are usually powered by the wind — but not this desktop version attached to a hamster ball.
Theo Jansen's Strandbeests are amazing things — kinetic sculptures that prowl the beaches of Holland, the wind powering the strange configurations of plastic tubing limbs and joints to create a naturalistic movement.
And if you like them, you can even purchase your own miniature version that you can propel around your home with air or by hand.
Not I-Wei Huang of CrabFu Artworks, though, who was tasked with hacking the Strandbeest for Gakken magazine. But the mag already had almost every propulsion solution covered — except one.
Said Huang on his blog:
Hamster powered? That's just stupid, which is the exact reason why I did it. It's different, hasn't been done before, yet it's in so many what's-under-the-hood jokes. It also had a high likelihood of working, so I had to attempt it.
He replaced the windmill sail on the Strandbeest and replaced it with a system of cogs, a bicycle chain and a hamster ball — graciously powered by an acquaintance's hamster called Princess.
As it turns out, Princess is a very good power source.
You can read more about how Huang created the hamster-powered Strandbeest on his blog.