A designer-artist couple from Portland, Ore., figured out how to create walking robotic animals — an elephant, a rhino and a giraffe — using nothing but paper.
Lucas Ainsworth, an industrial designer working at Intel, and Alyssa Hamel, a public-school art teacher, took their inspiration from Dutch artist Theo Jansen. His Strandbeest (beach animal) creations are giant mechanical contraptions — in part made from waste, including plastic bottles — that harness wind power to walk on their own.
The kits were prototyped, developed and are currently made using a laser cutter, but it takes over two hours and expensive laser-time to build each kit. Now that the designs are done, we are launching a Kickstarter project to cast the patterns onto die-cut-tools at a local cardboard manufacturing facility in Portland, OR. Using a die-press, the time-per-kit comes way down. That means we will be able to share the Kinetic Creatures, using sustainable materials and 100% local manufacturing, with hundreds of Makers and art students.
encourage people to build with their hands, minds and imagination. Use sustainable and recyclable materials and support local manufacturing.
Kinetic Creatures takes a complex mechanical linkage, popularized in Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest, and makes it accessible through an easy assembly and friendly cardboard form.
A collaboration between Alyssa- a Visual Arts Teacher and Artist and Lucas- an Industrial Designer, the Kinetic Creatures are intended to encourage building and thinking creatively at home and in the classroom.