Insect Lab Beetle Clockwork Sculpture

Sculptor Mike Libby has a passion for looking under rocks and dismantling clocks. He combines his enthusiasms in his amazing Insect Lab creations.

(Clockwork Dynastidae: Eupatorus Gracillicornis)

The Eupatorus Cracillicornia (aka the Five-horned beetle) shown above is about five centimeters long and incorporates brass gears and parts, including a winding knob. The piece is displayed in an 8" glass bell jar with a black base - and you can have it for $400.

Here's how he got started:

One day I found a dead intact beetle. I then located an old wristwatch, thinking of how the beetle also operated and looked like a little mechanical device and so decided to combine the two. After some time dissecting the beetle and outfitting it with watch parts and gears, I had a convincing little cybernetic sculpture. I soon made many more with other found insects and have been exploring and developing the theme ever since.

Mike Libby's creations reminded me immediately of an early sf short story. In his wonderful 193 story The Scarab, science fiction author Raymond Z. Gallun writes about a remote-controlled insect robot used for surveillance:

The Scarab rubbed its hind legs together, as flies will do when at rest. Then, apparently satisfied that it was in condition, it unfolded the coleoptera-like plates over its wings. With a buzz that any uninformed person would have mistaken for that of a beetle, it started out on its journey.
(Read more about Raymond Z. Gallun's scarab flying insect)

Interested in robotic insects (of course you are!):

Look at more Insect Lab sculptures; via RobotGossip.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/18/2006)

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