By Evan Ackerman
This is a video showing the design and evolution of a series of kinetic animal sculptures by Theo Jansen, created to live on the beaches of Holland. Made mostly of plastic tubing and powered by wind, the sculptures will walk around the beach for months (yes, months). They contain simple pneumatic binary logic gates which will cause them to reverse direction when they encounter either water or soft sand, since they’re quite fragile and won’t last long outside of a packed sand environment. Some of the designs incorporate lemonade bottles to store wind energy (via pressurized air) allowing the ‘animals’ to move away from a rising tide even if there’s no wind, and other designs feature wind powered hammers to pound in anchor stakes if a storm hits. There is a component of competitive evolution in the designs, so by the time they actually hit the beaches, the herd should be thinned down to the best and brightest.