The Strandbeests of 2018 are from the very greatest of timelines

For more than 15 years, we've been writing about the strandbeests, Theo Jansen's incredibly, multilegged windwalking machines that clatter their way along in eerily lifelike fashion (I even wrote them into my fiction). Read the rest

Skull Walker: a scuttling skull-creature

Y Nakajima's "Skull Walker 2.0" used the skull off an older sculpture and a HEXBUG Strand Beast Toy Figure (inspired by Theo Jansen's Strandbeest walkers) to create this brilliant piece of nightmare fuel. (via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

Walking Tables: a strandbeest for your dining room

Wouter Scheublin's 2006 design for a Walking Table echoes Theo Jansen's iconic Strandbeest: the complex mechanical linkages on the legs allow the table to walk when it's given a moderately firm shove. Read the rest

A segway/strandbeest that's powered by a hand-drill

Izzy Swan's drill-powered walking-machine uses a leg-design inspired by the wind-walking strandbeest and connects it to a ride-'em platform for the pilot. Read the rest

The Man Who Sold The Moon

Makers and hackers develop a robot that creates building materials from sand, and set out to send their 3D-printing marvel to the moon. In the way of their dreams? Code, crowdfunding and cancer.

Snap-together Strandbeest kit

Theo Jansen's amazing, wind-walking Strandbeest (featured in my story the Man Who Sold the Moon) can be had as a 6-inch-cubed snap-together, 80-piece, chunky "rhino" kit: assemble and blow on it and it will walk across your desk with the odd majesty of the Strandbeest. Read the rest

Steam-powered robots and hacked bugs: a visit to I-Wei Huang's garage

Wired visited the garage of my friend I-Wei Huang, which is loaded with his delightful little creations, including a Strandbeest-style hamster ball walker. (For his day job, I-Wei designs the characters for the Skylanders games.)

Wired garage interview with I-Wei Huang


Skylanders speed drawing

Steampunk robotics

Jot Touch Bluetooth pressure sensitive stylus for iPad Read the rest

DIY Strandbeest kit in a Japanese hobby magazine

Last saturday Gakken celebrated the 10th anniversary of the series 'Otona no Kagaku': an hybrid of magazine and book with an educational toy attached to each release. Beside showing the complete collection of the cult toys released in a decade, Toshiyuki Nishimura chef editor of the pubblication, presented the Animaris Imperio: a new kit based on Theo Jansen mechanical animals.

Boing Boing Gift Guide 2011

Though we're delighted to have our own online toystore up this holiday season, there are a thousand things we could recommend from elsewhere. Cutting it down to a couple of hundred, for our fourth annual gift guide, wasn't easy; this year was a fantastic one for books, games, gadgets and much else besides. From stocking stuffers to silly cars, take yer pick.

Boing Boing Gift Guide 2011

Rideable strandbeest

Metrod's Panterragaffe is a rideable strandbeest (Theo Jansen's wonderful kinetic sculpture). There've been strandeests for hamsters and 3D printed strandbeests, but none are as sweet as perching on the seat of a strandbeest built for two. It was created by Metrods, in West Vancouver, a studio that does work for hire. They previewed it last month at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.

In this configuration it requires smooth hard ground, but we're working on a modification to the mechanism to pick the feet up higher with each step. We should then be able to walk on grass and slightly irregular ground.

It's made entirely of mild steel, with ball bearing joints and pivots. The bench and two leg boxes are three separate pieces, held together with hitch pins for easy transport. It weighs nearly 700 pounds loaded without passengers.

The legs are only 1/2 inch square tubing with 1/16 inch wall thickness. This material bends very easily, but with careful leg design we were able to use this extremely small tubing to reduce weight and present a lighter appearance.


(via Make) Read the rest

3D printed Strandbeests for sale

I've written here before about Theo Jansen's marvellous walking mechanical Strandbeests (and the glorious hamster-powered version). Now Jansen's set up shop on Shapeways, the 3D printing place, and he's selling 3D printed versions of the eerie walkers for $105.

Designing the Beests this way proved quite the challenge. They consist of at least 76 separate moving interlocking parts. Multiple prototypes were used to come to the first viable solution, "Animaris Geneticus Parvus" #5. But the evolution process continues with evolutions #6 with lightweight bone structure and #7 with pointy feet.

Theo Jansen's 3D Printed Strandbeests Read the rest

Hamster-powered strandbeest walker

The mad genius at Crafbuartworks created a miniature, hamster-powered strandbeest walker. The walker is hamstered by the intrepid Princess, who is a champ.

The 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 likelyhood of working, so I had to attempt it. Only problem: I don't have a hamster, I don't want a hamster for a pet, and I don't know what sort of power and weight a little critter like that has. All I know is that I've seen them go ballistic on the hamster wheel, and so they must have great weight to power ratio.

I quickly removed the gearing and windmill, cut some plastic and mounted a hamster ball to this contraption. I used ball bearings on the hamster ball axels, and mecanno sprockets/chain to transfer the power from the hamster ball to the main crank. I did some initial testing with my son's motorized train inside of the hamster ball, so I had fair confidence on the gear ratio needed for it to work.

Then my sister in law (who runs a great craft blog, Crafty Carnival) came to the rescue, and was able to borrow one of her friend's pet hamster. Enter Princess the Hamster. Princess is a tiny little thing, much smaller than what I had imagined and prepared for. I was afriad that her weight wouldn't be enough to get the ball going.

Read the rest

Web Zen: group show zen

rob conger

ryan bown

jen stark

michael a. salter

jennifer vanderpool

tracey snelling

jennifer dalton

cosimo cavallaro

kent rogowski


derek stroup

mike libby

theo jansen

previously on web zen: group show 2005

group show 2004

group show 2003

Link, Web Zen Home and Archives, Store (Thanks Frank!)

Image: "Tim Berners-Lee, The World Wide Web (The Internet) 2008," a portrait of the web pioneer in woven acrylic yarn on quarter-inch mesh, by artist Rob Conger. This work is available for sale on the internet, appropriately enough, for $2,000. Read the rest