Drill-Powered Walking Beast Is A Slow-Moving Cyberpunk Nightmare

Half man, half slowly dying robot horse

Izzy Swan's Walker

Izzy Swan's Walker

Screenshot by author, from YouTube

The humble electric hand drill, staple of workbenches everywhere, is more than just a simple tool for carving holes into walls. Put to other uses, it’s a powerful engine, capable of driving all sorts of contraptions. Like this weird drill-powered walking machine by Izzy Swan, that looks like if H.R. Giger had designed the Segway. Watch it move below:


Izzy Swan is inspired, like many other creators of weird walking machines, by the work of Dutch artist Theo Jansen, who makes giant, wind-powered walking sculptures known as Strandbeests. Swan's vehicle is no idle beachcomber, shambling forward with the breeze. It's an electric-powered machine.

To make the 20-volt drill drive the legs, Swan used a worm drive. The drill spins a screw-shaped gear, which meshes with a disk gear that in turn gets the legs moving. Despite its metallic appearance, Swan’s odd walker is mostly made of wood that's painted silver. It shambles slowly, and methodically, like a cyberpunk centaur that’s running low on battery.

Here’s the full video of Swan testing and building the concept. Stay tuned to the end for some drone-captured footage of it walking down a street.