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.”
“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?
We’ve all had fleeting ‘what if’ moments at least once in our lives: What if I drop my phone from a bridge? What if I walk with a spoon in my mouth in public? What if I flush an entire tissue roll down an aircraft lavatory? Though most of us shake the feeling off by getting a grip on reality, there are some creators on the internet who are dedicated to answering these questions for the rest of the world to witness and ease their thoughts.
One such YouTuber is James, who runs The Action Lab channel on the platform. To date, the chemical engineer has frozen his finger in crystal clear ice, boiled water by heating it with his hands and even put his arm in a vacuum chamber to see if it explodes.
But in a video that has since gone viral, James documented the results of a scientific question humanity has toyed around with ever since we learned about the Venus flytrap in our biology classes: What happens if we stick our fingers into the marvellous plant? Is it capable of digesting human flesh like a true cannibal?
“The Venus flytraps have always intrigued me ever since I was little and I was always a little scared to touch the inside because I was scared it would bite me like an animal,” James said in the video as he first stimulated the plant into thinking that his finger was “real food.”
“I’m going to stimulate the inside hairs and it’ll close down on my finger and then you have to squeeze it around 30 to 40 times to stimulate a bug trying to escape. This starts the enzymatic juice flowing in there that will… digest whatever is inside.” James then inserted a bee to kickstart the said process and later substituted his pinky finger as the subject.
“I can actually feel pressure on it,” he explained when the flytrap successfully bit his finger and he duct taped the entire plant onto his hand and went on to perform daily tasks. The creator also taped a second finger with just the kidney-shaped part of the plant cut from its stem which already had its juices flowing after digesting its last prey.
Three hours into the experiment, James updated his audience by admitting how he was starting to feel a bit of sensation in the second finger the plant had closed its lobes around. “Sometimes, I feel like it’s kind of tingling [and] a little bit painful,” he mentioned.
Fast forward to the end of the experiment, James finally freed both his fingers out of the flytraps and analysed the damage. Upon closer inspection, his pinky finger—which was first embedded into the plant with external stimulations—showed signs of a weird reaction making the skin appear redder than usual, with tiny white spots decorating the edges.
The second finger, in comparison, displayed shocking results. “Look at the top of my finger, it’s purple!” James exclaimed. “It’s purple-whitish-bluish. This is crazy because I didn’t actually expect anything.”
“It wasn’t that painful and I could only feel something going on there but you can see how it’s kind of swollen on the tip there. You can see that there is some sort of reaction happening on my skin,” he continued, adding how it looked like the start of a blister. “So there you have it, the Venus flytrap did start to eat me. I was actually going to say how wimpy they were and you don’t have anything to fear if you were to get eaten by [one] but if you’re in there long enough, I’m pretty sure it could digest you too.”
“Beware of the man-eating plants!” James eventually captioned the video.