‘Stuff of nightmares’: Man builds table that can walk with 12 legs

By Malavika Pradeep

Published Sep 28, 2022 at 09:09 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

It’s Friday night and you pass out on your friend’s couch halfway through your routine Black Mirror marathon. You then wake up to a dark room and rustle around to find a bottle of water—only to see the eerie silhouette of a coffee table slowly inching towards you with its 12 legs.

This is the latest creation of Giliam de Carpentier, a Senior Principal Tech Programmer at Guerrilla Games. Having previously worked on innovations like wireless joysticks, De Carpentier is now a proud father who recently witnessed his 12-legged table take its first baby steps.

“Turns out my table can actually WALK as well as I hoped it would!” the enthusiast first tweeted after designing, building and assembling most of its parts. “Next steps: Implement remote control, connect a battery, and open up the throttle…”

In a video attached to the tweet, the table—which could easily fit into the Timothée Chalamet-starrer sci-fi film Dune—can be seen outfitted with two brushless motors that De Carpentier reportedly modified using Arduino computer controllers to alter their supply of electricity, in turn, ensuring the smooth movement of its legs at a desired pace.

“It uses 12 of my own type of legs that I based on Strandbeest’s leg design,” the creator explained on Reddit, referring to the kinetic bio-mechanical sculpture designed by Dutch artist Theo Jansen that you may have seen walking like majestic beasts on beaches across viral TikTok and Instagram videos. In De Carpentier’s case, he evolved the same “into a more stable and efficient configuration (having one extra joint per leg, for example) using software I once wrote.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Theo Jansen, Strandbeest (@theojansen_official)

“All leg pieces consist of multiple ¾ inch sheets of bamboo CNC-ed and glued together to make it really solid,” De Carpentier went on to mention. When asked if wax could help with the movement and reduce creaking, he added, “There are 100+ ball bearings in there, so the creaking should be fixable once I figure out what’s slightly off at the moment. Though I kinda like it.” The sounds make a wonderful addition to the overall vibe, indeed.

In a follow-up tweet, the creator also uploaded a snippet showing the leg mechanism in more detail. “So 6 legs, 1 crank and 1 motor for each end of the table, and then drive it like a tank,” he wrote.

When news of the 12-legged table hit both Twitter and Reddit, users quickly equated it to ‘The Luggage’, a fictional chest with human-like legs that appears in several Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett.

“Is there a high demand for tables chasing after workers? I know that companies are trying to end WFH, but this is getting out of hand,” a Redditor joked. To this, another replied: “Place your laptop there and it follows you to every room,” adding that De Carpentier could potentially be the next billionaire if his innovation hits the market.

Imagine all the possibilities of having a walkable table in your house. Not only does it open up a whole new venue to aid disabled people in their daily routines but it also has the hidden potential of curbing addictions. The latter can be achieved by simply placing your beer on the tabletop and chasing it around your house if you really crave a sip. No better way than this to squeeze in some much-need exercise, right?

https://twitter.com/Parawheeler058/status/1573253221732294657

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