Artist creates animated life-size Mechanical Horse

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The galloping Mechanical Horse, caught in motion (Photo: Adrian Landon)

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As a child, Brooklyn-based metal sculptor Adrian Landon played with Lego a lot. He also learned about horses from his polo-playing dad, who in turn learned about them from his father, who was an equine veterinarian. That background set the stage for Landon's latest work of art, a stainless steel life-size Mechanical Horse that gallops in slow motion at the press of a button.

Adrian began work on the project in 2013, after having built a series of non-moving horse sculptures over the previous four years. With no background in engineering, he set about designing the thing from scratch using a pencil and paper.

The resulting piece was a little too far from perfect, so he decided to scrap it and build another. This time around, he designed it using a 3D CAD program. Although it was still "a laborious headache," he feels that the final product is 10 times better than its predecessor.

"It’s like inventing a car from scratch, and it definitely won’t be perfect the first time," he said.

The Mechanical Horse features over 100 bearings, custom laser-cut sprockets, 30 feet (9 m) of chain, and 23 articulating joints. It's all driven by one small electric motor. Although some people had suggested that Adrian set his sights a little lower and start with an easier-to-replicate trotting gait, he thought that just wouldn't be exciting enough.

He's quite pleased with the end result, and hopes that it will give viewers an appreciation for an animal that used to be an integral part of most peoples' lives.

"Horses have been in my family for generations," said Landon. "This relation that I have had the privilege to develop is what I seek to portray in my work, to give people, and not just horse people, a feel for something that they should know about, and by making this Mechanical Horse, I am taking it to the next level."

The sculpture can be seen in motion, in the following video.

View gallery - 9 images

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