Carapace is a kinetic sculpture designed by Derek Hugger that mimics the motion of a sea turtle gliding through the ocean. The wooden work is composed of over six hundred parts which allow the creature to elegantly tilt its fins, move its body up and down, and even crane its head as if rising above the water for air. A single crank controls the complex structure of gears and mechanisms which were designed to flow as organically as possible.
“A non-trivial amount of time was spent watching and studying videos of turtles swimming,” explains Hugger. “Getting the motions of Carapace to closely resemble the motions of real turtles was a true challenge. Countless hours were spent refining the sculpture’s motion to be as lifelike as possible, even before any mechanisms were developed to drive those motions.”