Vancouver-based EatART is an art research center that borders heavily on make space. They have a lot of cool projects, including the famous eight-legged, ridable robot, Mondo Spider–had to be inspiration for Artisan’s Asylum Hexapod–but the latest project has been a 50-foot electromechanical snake called Titanoboa that met a Kickstarter funding goal, stopped off at Google I/O 2012 and made an appearance at CES 2013 this week. Video of the making of and the slithering metal after the jump.
With the inspiration taken from the prehistoric Titanoboa, the collective set out to recreate the hydraulic-driven version as an exercise in alternative forms of propulsion and power for transportion. Developed in SolidWorks by a crew of engineers, artists, students and fabricators, it uses 24 lithium polymer batteries, electric motors, hydraulics, and Arduino microcontrollers all mounted on a custom welded aluminum spine. Here’s how it came together.
There’s a case study (pdf) put together by Proto Labs that explains how the team gained their injection molding service with a submission to the Cool Idea! contest using the parts developed in SolidWorks to create scale-designed parts for the machine. You can keep up to date on the travels of the Titanoboa on the project website as it fufills its mission to save the world. You can also catch a clip on Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet, and yes, that is a saddle attached directly behind the snake’s head.
Feature image: Ben Z Cooper