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News Link • Inventions

This Robotic, Spider-Legged Chair Looks Like It Crawled Out of a Supervillain's Workshop

• By Samantha Cole

A Redditor spotted Richmond, CA-based Mark Ellis trundling around the Maker Faire festival in San Mateo last weekend in his many-legged chair, and uploaded the video to Reddit, where it's been posted across DIY and tinkerer subreddits. As plenty of Redditors have already pointed out, Ellis' creation, which he calls dieselpunk, looks like something straight out of a Wild Wild West prop closet—specifically, the workshop of Dr. Loveless.

Ellis told me in an email that the inspiration for the chair, which he dubbed the "Playa Crawler," came from a combination of his love of the art cars (known as Mutant Vehicles) at Burning Man, and the work of artist Theo Jansen and his walking Strandbeest sculptures.

"I had never seen anyone take [Jansen's] leg linkage and use it for a speedy personal vehicle and wondered if it was possible," Ellis said. "I had seen it used on a machine called the Tin Spider which a large geodesic dome on top of the legs but it was too big for my purposes and it's very slow. I thought it would be a better use of my time and creativity to make something ambitious like the legs rather than decorate a golf cart or build something over a mostly unmodded electric wheelchair."

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