Meet Theo Jansen, a Danish inventor/artist/kinetic sculptor whose work will astound you.
Jansen dreams of creating beautiful works of art that are also smart enough to survive on their own. (He's getting very close to making that dream come true.)
Theo Jansen has been building sculptures that he calls "STRANDBEESTS" from PVC tubing and plastic bottles since 1990. Wired Magazine profiled his work in 2005, TED has also featured the living sculptures, his creations have been exhibited all around the world, and in a 2006 commercial for BMW, he is seen with some of his inventions walking on the beach and is quoted as saying;
"The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds."
The artist's website explains explains it more detail.
The BBC featured Theo Jansen and the beach-walking sculptures on the Wallace and Gromit Show.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/HSKyHmjyrkA?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0 expand=1]
Inspired? Want to build your own "beest?" Theo's website sells kits to get you started.
The longer presentation from TED is here.