Behold, The Hamster-Powered Walker

Every once in awhile I come across an invention that is so useless, that I laugh with utter delight. The hamster-powered walker, my friends, is a prime example of what I’m talking about.

I supposed it would be more accurate to call blogger Crabfu’s creation it a mod, as most of the contraption is an existing invention called a “Strandbeest,” which he received bundled with an issue of Gakken Magazine.  The Strandbeest is a proof-of-concept model that converts small amounts of energy into forward movement using a series of spindly, spider-like legs.

Tinkerer/artist Crabfu decided that the fan blade included with the model was too boring, and recently modified his Strandbeest to be operate by harnessing the power of a single hamster. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the absolute silliness of this project, as the plastic ball the hamster runs in is itself a simpler, superior mode of transport.  Still, this is the type of project that defines “whimsy,” and I suspect producing something useful was low on the list of priorities.  In fact, Crabfu’s running commentary on its creation reveal that he is fully aware of the project’s ridiculous nature.

The attached video as proof-of-concept doubles nicely as an unbearably cute tribute to Crabfu’s hamster Princess, who bravely test pilots the machine. Watching Princess run furiously in place while the legs of the Strandbeest converted her kinetic output into an outrageously slow forward progression made me wonder whether the original engineers behind the Strandbeest would be pleased to see it demonstrating such an inefficient energy exchange.

Still, as a piece of art, the hamster powered device achieves its goal of being both fascinating to watch, and delightfully adorable. Thanks Crabfu, for channeling your creative energy into an invention that is both pointless and absolutely amazing.  While a generation of hamsters would probably prefer the vastly improved mobility and speed of their original hamster ball, I for one am glad you are out there tinkering.

For more odd, and questionably useful inventions, be sure to check out this gadget that fills beer cups from the bottom, and another cool gadget that uses a car safety belt as a keychain.

Via: Crabfu ArtWorks