As we previewed last month, the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire featured the Panterragaffe, an ambulatory vehicle inspired by Theo Janssen’s famous Strandbeests.
Panterragaffe is a pedal powered two person walking machine, a walking bicycle. The name has a few elements to it. It’s a play on pantograph, which is a mechanism for copying drawings, since it’s similar to the leg mechanism. Also; Pan – all or spanning. Terra – earth. Gaffe – an unintentional act causing embarrassment to it’s originator or just goofy-ness. A bit of goofy-ness for everybody. To most people the name doesn’t mean anything, therefore it’s meaning is flexible.
Panterragaffe was conceived from the beginning as a public exhibition piece. It’s purpose had shock value and public participation in mind from the start. After building a seven inch prototype, it was clear that a mobile entertainment platform was possible. It was only a small step after that to decide to add a power source, music and lighting to suit events. The rough frame allows us to add character coverings, Panterragaffe can dress up differently ever time it goes out. Hence the flexible name.