Artist Mark Ellis Creates Wheelchair-Like Kinetic Sculpture

The 'Playa Crawler' is a delight for aesthetes and couch potatoes alike.

June 29, 2017 5:00 am

Couch potatoes can now take their lazy boy on the go—in style

Artist Mark Ellis created a kinetic sculpture that carries him around on eight pairs legs and turns using a similar mechanism to World War I-era tanks. The Dieselpunk creation, dubbed the “Playa Crawler,” was inspired by Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest, a PVC-constructed sculpture that moves when the wind blows.

Unlike the Strandbeest, however, Ellis’ creation is powered by an electric wheelchair motor and uses leg linkage mechanisms to move around. He spent four years tinkering away to make the alien-like sculpture, according to Insider. The California-based artist mostly creates metal sculptures, but the artist statement on his website says Ellis also dabbles in other art forms.

Although it’s functional, the Playa Crawler isn’t complete. Ellis is currently fundraising on GoFundMe to cover the cost he needs to finish the contraption before the Burning Man festival—the inspiration for the sculpture’s name. (“Playa,” Spanish for beach, is the festival lingo for the dried up lakebeds in the Nevada desert.) Ellis also wants to add a seating for a second person in the future, so he can have some company while crawling around Burning Man.

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