Mitsuru Nikaido has created this enlarged version of a Daphnia pulex which is a type of water flea. The odd-looking outstretched arms are actually antennae used by the creature to move through the water. Actuator parts form sections of the antennae providing the model with a mechanical aesthetic which is also emphasized by the use of wires and tubes across the build. There is also some great curvature at the stomach, with angled plates creating interesting segmented areas throughout the model. It’s hard to imagine that the real-life animal is tiny compared to this intrinsically detailed creation.
Woodlice are terrestrial isopods and, among other nicknames, are affectionately known as “roly-poly pill bugs” for their ability to roll into a ball. Though this ability is a natural defense mechanism, Japanese builder Moko drew inspiration from the woodlouse for their latest LEGO mech. Moko’s mech emulates the woodlouse’s segmented body thanks to staggered round shell detail elements, which appeared in black in 2012 Hero Factory sets Black Phantom and Toxic Reapa. This black armor is also reminiscent of the crab-like Garthim from The Dark Crystal.
As an added bonus, Moko’s woodlouse mech rolls into a ball just like the real thing. While the real life woodlouse does this to protect itself, I think it’s safe to say this mechanical critter can also use it for quick getaways. Now, that’s using your exoskeleton!