Last April I made these four muppet characters for a student film project. I never saw the resulting video, so I can’t say how it went! The Mushroom King technically isn’t really a muppet; instead he was made to dangle on a string, and his mouth is moved remotely using a bike cable.
I’m trying out the WordPress gallery here. It annoys me that you cant’t see the tentacle monster’s one eye in the thumbnail, but once you click on the thumbnails the gallery viewer itself is quite cool. Time will tell if I persist with using the galleries!
Lucas Ainsworth & Alyssa Hamel have a Kickstarter appeal going for these cool mechanical creatures made in kit form out of cardboard. The animal moves either with a manual winding mechanism, or by itself if you build in an additional the gear kit.
Here’s a great photo of Xolo, Royal de Luxe‘s giant dog! It’s just been announced that Xolo will be appearing the Sea Odyssey Giant Spectacle in Liverpool in a couple of weeks time, along with the Little Giantess and her uncle, the deep sea diver.
Crow witnesses God’s creation in the Garden of Eden and adds his own dry trickery to the events. Droll, lonely, adaptable, laughing, watching, instinctive and curious, Crow is in all of us, and in these poems Hughes presents the songs he would sing. – London 2012 Festival
This is cool – for The Lionheart Project, Shauna Richardson has made three giant hand-crocheted lions that will be displayed in a custom-built, mobile, glass case like a taxidermy case, and will travel around the East Midlands as part of the London Cultural Olympiad. I like the studio photos showing the process, and the way the patterns in the crochet are used to emphasis the muscle shapes.
Boston Dynamics and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have developed this amazing robotic cheetah that can run at 18 mph. Testing of a free-running prototype is planned for later this year. Aside from the nasty military implications this may have , the thing that interests me about the movement is that although DARPA says that
The robot increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its back on each step, much as an actual cheetah does
at the moment the body elongation and the range of flexibility isn’t nearly as great as videos of cheetahs actually show (compare the superimposed skeleton in the video below). I’m going to guess that those will be the next steps in making the robot faster. Also, real cheetahs seem to get an extra spring and propulsion from their feet flexing, whereas the robot doesn’t really have feet, so that might be another direction of improvement.
I’ve been entranced by Royal de Luxe‘s and La Machine‘s huge mechanical elephants, but this evening I came across Israeli Amit Drori‘s enchanting small mechanical elephants, made for his show Savanna. The elephants are computerised robots with complex mechanisms and live motion control. As well as the birds and turtle in this video, in another is a beautiful buck.
Since going to La Machine in Nantes in 2008 I like to see what new sea creatures are being made in the workshop there. This TV news video shows the sea monster, a shell, a nautilus, a school of flying fish, another fish ship and a new kind of fish in action. I’m not sure where this amazing fish and turtle fit in , but they are cool!
The UK contemporary puppetry company Folded Feather recently built two large spectacular puppets out of car parts for Hyundai’s New Thinkers Index, a campaign ‘about new thinking and new possibilities’.