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Because were posting this story around bedtime for many of our readers, we must warn you that you might carefully consider whether you want to watch this video of a 35-foot robot snake.
This monstrous electro-mechanical beast named Titanoboa weighs more than a ton, and its makers plan to eventually cover it with what they call a more polished-looking skin, and if all goes well, [it will] be able to move underwater.
They wrote on the snakes website:
The Titanoboa project is an exercise in alternative forms of propulsion and power applications in transport. The purpose is to showcase this experiment by harnessing and enlarging the mesmerizing movement of the snake. The huge serpent has undeniable appeal as a surreal mechanical beast that moves in a seemingly magical way over land and will glide stealthily through the water. One or more participants will eventually interact with the piece by riding it or for the more ambitious, driving it. The complex control needed to properly move hundreds of individual parts will necessitate a skilled operator who has taken time to become at one with the serpent.
Thats not even the half of it. In the opposing corner is another metal beast they built, the Mondo Spider, an eight-legged contraption powerful enough to transport a person from one place to another with enough clanking and foot-clapping noises to wake the dead. The worlds first walking electric vehicle, it weighs 1,700 pounds and was originally unveiled at Burning Man 2006. Together, the two robots create an atmosphere thats beyond bizarre.
Theyre not exactly fighting each other in this video, but the peculiar sounds each one makes and the slithering metallic serpents deliberate manner is the stuff of nightmares. Were told this 35-foot version is a mere prototype of the final snake, which will be built to its 50-foot final length by sometime next year.
That brings it to the same size as the prehistoric snake Titanoboa its named after, a behemoth whose fossilized remains are those of the largest snake ever discovered. Crawling around the jungles of South America around 60 million years ago, the height of its body was as tall as a standing human.
Who are these brilliant robot builders? Its the Mondo Crew, part of eatART of Vancouver, British Columbia a group of artists, designers and builders who say they make audacious and improbable large-scale kinetic, robotic, and mechanized sculptures that investigate our human relationship to energy use. We think they put together these mechanical conveyances just for the fun of it.
Heres another video of the snake in action:
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