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Finally, hamsters can follow their artistic dreams with this drawing machine

This drawing machine lets hamsters run their way to an artistic masterpiece

Great art has the capacity to transport viewers across the emotional spectrum. It can be revitalizing, devastating, beautiful, and terrifying. It can also be made by a hamster. The Hamster Powered Hamster Drawing Machine by Neil Mendoza is one such artistic rarity. Mendoza, whose previous creations include a magical hair creature and something called the Ponytron, has never shied from the experimental. In his latest work, a hamster running in a hamster wheel powers a complicated apparatus to draw, what else, a hamster running in a hamster wheel.

Silly as it may seem, constructing the contraption required an impressive amount of engineering and digital know-how. Mendoza generated vectors of the machine using openFrameworks and Box2D to precisely mill the two larger cams out of plywood. Using a Raspberry Pi and software written in openFrameworks, Mendoza transmitted the hamster onto an LED screen for a better viewing experience.

Hamsters are not the first animals to flex their artistic capabilities. And in the broader competition for non-human artistic supremacy, hamsters cannot yet rival Google’s DeepDream algorithms, an AI capable of creating entire art exhibitions and music collections. But a hamster is much cuter.


DO ANIMALS HAVE EMPATHY?