Artist Theo Jansen and his fantastic beests

Created by Dutch artist Theo Jansen, these mechanical beings called Strandbeests are made to move sand and prevent erosion on beaches

Dutch artist Theo Jansen is designing a new kind of artificial intelligence.

It started with wind-powered mechanical monsters meant to pile sand up on the beach to save the Netherlands from flooding. Coming up are flexible caterpillars that can curl into a spaceship and set off to explore different planets.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2018, with the headline 'Fantastic beests'. Subscribe