hamster-powered drawing machine by neil mendoza & joji




the ‘hamster-powered drawing machine’ is a personal project of multi-media artist neil mendoza. utilizing openframeworks and box2d, two cams were created, exported as vectors, and cut from plywood via CNC. the drawing — joji the hamster’s masterwork — is embedded directly into the inside rim of the cams. as joji’s little legs crank away, mechanical arms roll along plywood edges, directing the pencil attached.

hamster-powered drawing machine neil mendoza joji
‘hamster-powered drawing machine’ 
images © neil mendoza




placed next to the larger cams, is a smaller circle that serves as the hamster’s domain. an LCD displays the artist and wheel — don’t worry he’s not trapped in there — with a small raspberry pi computer behind. joji runs, and the pi sends commands to a motor via ethernet, controlling the speed of the ‘drawing machine’. mendoza thanks jesse fleming for videography, inessa demidova for drawing, and philip rugo and kytten janae for enabling joji to pursue his artistic career. 


video courtesy of neil mendoza — film by jesse fleming

joji the hamster 

drawing arm close-up



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions  feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: nick brink | designboom