Who is This Theo Jansen Guy?

Posted on 20/06/2005 by wcox in Industry
ImageThe first time I heard about this guy, Theo Jansen, was in this news article. The video of one of his creations was amazing. Really amazing.

"Theo Jansen creates unique machines that collect wind with their wings, and store the energy in bottles that he calls their stomachs."

'"It works with the wings in front, they pump up air in laminate bottles. That you could see as the wind stomach. They eat wind, they put it in the bottles and that's energy which they can use for walking when the wind is gone," Jansen said.'

A quick Google image search of his name turns up quite a few contraptions.

Take a look at this one, from this page:

There's videos of the multi-ton beast here.

"[each] of his beach beasts consists of thirty species, dispersed over seven periods in which they originated. Each of these periods is marked by a specific technique applied by the artist. A mutational jump ends the development within each species and leads to more complex ones."

On Mr. Jansen's website, he writes:

"We start with a little pump. Since electricity tubes are available in two sizes, they quite easily fit into eachother. The smallest one is made a little bit tighter by using silicion glue. By doing so we create a little piston which is combined with the larger tube, thus creating a kind of pump."


" A futher stap (sic)  is the use of plastic mineral water bottles. In these bottles a considerable pressure up to 10 Bar can be stored, without the risk of exploding."


" The plastic bottles could also be connected to the pump of electricity tubes. The air squeezes the piston with force out, thus creating a kind of muscle, a pressing muscle."

Wired News has a good piece on his artwork.

There's also quite a collection of movies on Jansen's website.

Update: Here's an interesting interview I found with Jansen.

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