Theo Jansen, a Dutch artist, makes large, walking mechanisms solely out of PVC pipe, named Strandbeest, which feed on gusts of wind. His works are a fusion of art, invention & engineering, that walk the beaches of the coastlines of the Netherlands.
With the inexpensive cost of PVC pipe and fittings and with assistance from cable ties, nylon strings and adhesive tape doing, these lightweight, insect-like beasts are pretty inexpensive to create, and create them he has. From single walkers to herds of Strandbeest, Janses has employed PVC and wind power into createing beautiful and inventive 'living' art forms.
Designed to live on the beach and race on wet sand, their evolution hasn't been easy. While Jansen initially used a computer program to figure out the most effective design to get the beasts walking, all of his subsequent creations have been entirely free-form, constructed solely through trial and error.
Jansen is also working on giving the latest generation of these creatures the ability to move even in the wind's absence. His latest creations contain lemonade bottles in their body structure into which the wind is slowly pumped, enabling the creature to walk for a couple of minutes afterward. Eventually, he plans to increase the efficiency so that they can go on for days or even years.
For more information on Jansen's work, visit his website at strandbeest.com