Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 18, 2012.

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Kinetic Creatures are DIY mechanical cardboard animals.

What are Kinetic Creatures?

Kinetic Creatures are a set of three walking cardboard animal sculptures. The Creatures, Elly the elephant, Rory the rhino, and Geno the giraffe, are each made up of cardboard pieces that you assemble using tabs-and-slots. By turning the wire handle the creatures come alive with a simple mechanical motion.

Kinetic Creatures also...

encourage people to build with their hands, minds and imagination. Use sustainable and recyclable materials and support local manufacturing.

Kinetic Creatures takes a complex mechanical linkage, popularized in Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest, and makes it accessible through an easy assembly and friendly cardboard form.

A collaboration between Alyssa- a Visual Arts Teacher and Artist and Lucas- an Industrial Designer, the Kinetic Creatures are intended to encourage building and thinking creatively at home and in the classroom. 

How big are they?

Bigger than a bread box. Here are the dimensions:

Elly the elephant is 11 1/2" tall x 15" longRory the rhino is 9 1/2" tall x 15 1/2" long, Geno the giraffe is 21 1/2" tall x 18" long. 

Can they walk on their own?

Why yes, our gear kit allows the animals to be powered by a small electric motor and laser-cut wooden gears. The creature’s insides are an open platform for mechanical and electrical additions. 

The Gear Kits: 

Building the Gear Kit requires only glue.  Both Elmer's glue or Superglue work great. We will prepare and solder the Gear Kit's wires or you can let us know if you would like to do the soldering yourself!

The Kinetic Creatures are an open platform for paper robotics and if you are super into electronics and you want to build your own mechanism, the platform specs will be open sourced on our website. 

The Gear Kits contain: wooden gears, a geared axel, a motor, AAA battery case with on/off switch.

Kinetic Creatures Art Workshops:

Alyssa will be using Kinetic Creatures in her art classes and workshops to inspire and encourage youth to be builders, thinkers and inventors. Students will learn about Industrial Design, Kinetic Sculptures and the process of developing an idea into a product. Kinetic Creatures allows students to succeed through an accessible assembly of a complicated mechanical project.

Why Kickstarter?

Kinetic Creatures are a culmination of four years of design, research and play. The kits are ready- they have been prototyped, developed and are currently made using a laser cutter, but it takes over two hours and expensive laser time to build each kit. 

Now that the designs are done, we want to cast the patterns onto die-cut-tools at a local cardboard manufacturing facility. Using a die-press, the time-per-kit comes way down. That means we will be able to share the Kinetic Creatures with hundreds of makers and art students. 

Help us send Kinetic Creatures into the world, and we'll mail you one of the first kits.

Thank you for your support!

Also, a special thanks and shout out to friends near and far & our supportive families & Elizabeth and Nicholas at Cathedral Laser LLC & Jason at Portland Bindery.

Music credit: Eric SteuerAlastair Cameron & Grapes.

Thank you to Shayla, Dae'Onna, Alex, Alexander, Marco, Sofia and Lisa- my amazing 8th grade art students whose insight, creativity and humor make projects like these worthwhile.

Kinetic Creatures are recommended for ages 11 and up because they contain wire and small cardboard parts.

594
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$44,140
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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    13 backers

    You will receive a Thank You postcard featuring the three Kinetic Creatures and our heartfelt thanks!

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  • Pledge $30 or more
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    81 backers

    You will receive the turn handle edition of ELLY the Elephant. Shipping in U.S. included. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    44 backers

    You will receive the turn handle edition of RORY the Rhino. Shipping in U.S. included. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    36 backers

    You will receive the turn handle edition of GENO the Giraffe. Shipping in U.S. included. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    124 backers

    You will receive ELLY the Elephant PLUS the Mechanical Gear Kit. Shipping in U.S. included. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    53 backers

    You will receive RORY the Rhino PLUS the Mechanical Gear Kit. Shipping in U.S. included. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    64 backers

    You will receive GENO the Giraffe PLUS the Mechanical Gear Kit. Shipping in U.S. included. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    39 backers

    You will receive one of EACH of the turn handle editions- Elly, Rory and Geno. Shipping in U.S. included. Please add $10 for international shipping.

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    116 backers

    You will receive one of EACH animal- Elly, Rory and Geno PLUS three Mechanical Gear Kits- one for each! Shipping in U.S. included. Please add $15 for international shipping.

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  • Pledge $330 or more
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    1 backer

    12 PACK- You will receive 12 turn handle editions- 4 Elly, 4 Rory and 4 Geno- at a discounted rate! If you'd like gear kits, please add $20 for each. Shipping in U.S. included. Please add $70 for international shipping.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers

    SPONSOR a Kinetic Creatures Art Workshop- you receive all the rewards- one of EACH animal- Elly, Rory and Geno PLUS three Mechanical Gear Kits PLUS handmade thank you cards from the participating students.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    2 backers

    SPONSOR a MEGA Kinetic Creatures Art Workshop- and each child receives a Kinetic Creature of their own! You receive all the rewards- one of EACH animal- Elly, Rory and Geno PLUS three Mechanical Gear Kits PLUS handmade thank you cards AND a very special piece of artwork from the participating students.

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- (34 days)