Automotive

The Playa Crawler is art that literally crawls


Inspired by the works of Theo Jansen, the Playa Crawler is a fully electric “Burning Man mutant vehicle project.” Created by Mark Ellis, this rideable piece of art imitates the motion of a crab or insect. Did you see the Playa Crawler at Burning Man?

Transcript: Crawling art you can ride. The Playa Crawler is not a wheelchair alternative but a moving sculpture. Created by artist Mark Ellis Playa Crawler is his “Burning Man mutant vehicle project.” The rideable sculpture is fully electric powered by two 12V lithium batteries. It’s operated by a joystick attached to the armrest the motion imitates the motion of a crab or insect. The motors are rated for 7 mph but ellis says he only runs the crawler at a walking pace. It’s taken over 4 years and more than $7,000 to get the playa crawler to its current state. Constructed out of laser cut aluminum plate and held together with steel rods. The name “Playa” references the Alkali Lake bed in the Black Rock desert of Nevada, and is spanish for “beach.” Ellis, a sculptor interested in mechanics and kinetic artwork, was inspired by the works of Theo Jansen. Ellis plans to make upgrades to his Playa Crawler project the final form will be a dieselpunk military scout vehicle. Did you see the Playa Crawler at Burning Man?

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