STRANDBEEST

 A “ strandbeest” is a kinetic creature created by Theo Jansen, since the year 1990.Theo Jansen who is a physicist turned artist, have been successful in creating lives on beach, which survives on wind. This animated sculpture which appear to walk, is actually a fusion between art , engineering ,mechanics and biology .To Theo Jansen, the line between art and engineering is illusion, and depends upon our minds. This sculptures  ,are like walking animals , believed to have artificial life. These are constructed from PVC pipes, zip ties, favric, wood. Theo Jansen have been dealing in strandbeest since 1990, and from then it is continuously improved every year. Such kinetic sculptures are based on the models, where the connecting links and triangle converts to stepping motion of six legs, by way of rotating the axle. If compared, the strandbeest travel way more efficiently and  faster than on wheels.

He designed the planar leg mechanism to create a smooth mechanism. These have applications not only in giat analysis, but also in mobile  robotics. The central crank link used by him did wonders, as it seemed to work like an electric  motor. The central crank would make the other links move .Jansen here applied the Newton-Euler mechanism. Initially he had  started with mere skeleton, to walk over the beach ,but  with time such skeletons were improved on to survive weather changes and bear storm. The sculptures are eventually prepared in a way to release in the beach environment, and lead their own lives. They’re even prepared to store air-pressure ,so that they can make their lives go on , in case of absence of mind. Jansen have now come to a stage of evolution, where one such model can detect when they’ve entered the water, they would by themselves move away from them. One of special model is even capable of sensing an approaching storm, and would eventually anchor itself to the earth. These  self –propelled  creatures were presented in an exhibition in 2016 in North America, where the Dutch artist mesmerized everyone with its breathtaking innovation.

Each species of strandbeest, have an unique Latin name reflecting upon their character, and adaptations. 25 years of exploring lineage  of beach animals, each  species retain the successful features of the previous ones, while shedding the ones that were unsuccessful. The strandbeest are something unforgettable by anyone ,who comes across it. I remember coming across this, through my social media profile as a kid, and could not take my eyes off from it.

Let’s Have A Look At Few Of Them

“Animaris Vulgaris”, was the first such beech animal built with 28 legs. But it could move its legs, only when lying down. It would collapse as soon as it stood on it’s own legs. The next one ,  was “ Animaris Currens Vulgaris”.This  one was the first such kinetic sculpture, to stand and walk .With each passing time, the models got better . The latest one is , “Animaris Suspendisse” ,the biggest of all the ones made till date. It is believed to have all the features like Ordis’ legs, nose feelers, sweat glands.It can gulp the wind, stores wind into recycled plastic bottles by squeezing air, and can sense when it’s about to enter the water.

Animaris Suspendisse