Jansen’s Strandbeests are wondrous wind-powered automatons that exhibit almost life-like qualities and are capable of moving around on their own. Most are built from piping, wood and sail cloth and over the years, the designs have become more sophisticated to adapt better to the environment of the Dutch coast. Jansen keeps fine-tuning their design and adding new features to expand their capabilities. He even has dreams that one day the kinetic beasts will actually be able to reproduce.
But until he can design a self-replicating sculpture, Jansen has created a miniature 3D printed version for home use. Two models are available on Shapeways – Animaris Geneticus Parvus #5 & #7 are fully functioning and moveable models based on Jansen’s work “the Rhinoceros”. #7 has pointy feet compared to the flat feet of #5 and each come fully functioning without any assembly. The mini beests do not move on their own however and they need to be pushed or pulled to get going. But, if you purchase the propeller propulsion add-on, you can harness the power of wind to get your little beestie moving. Both #5 and #7 are about $100 each and the propeller is an additional $40 – not cheap, but excellent gifts for people who love art, engineering and the wind.