Science is going to need to start inventing superheroes to offset all these creepy nightmare robots that are popping up. This year, a large and diverse Canadian team of designers thought it would be a good idea to invent a gigantic robot snake based on the 50-foot prehistoric Titanoboa.
The snake-bot is the vision of Charlie Brinson, who began constructing the 60 million year-old monsters’ replica with his team in the beginning of 2011. Being a replica, the team is shooting for the same weight of 1 Ton and length of 50ft, but presently the machine is at 35ft long. The goal is to have 30 high strength vertebrae (presently at 20) and 5 different modes of motion: Lateral undulation, side winding, slow rectilinear and concertina. Imagine something like that squirming towards you. Other specs for the Titanoboa robo-monster include a scalable Lithium polymer battery system, 60 proportional hydraulic cylinders and 6hp continuous, 18hp peak power.
Oh, and there’s going to be a saddle since it can be controlled by rider or by remote control. Also, they want it to have jaws…
So why bother creating something (nightmares) like this? The team says the project was an excuse to make engineering fun and lure young student minds to participate in the design and manufacture stages. Robo-Titanoboa’s birth created an environment that facilitated technical learning on robotics, controls, mechanical desgin and other areas. Also, the project was “an exercise in alternative forms of propulsion and power applications in transport.” Does that mean we’ll all be riding giant snakes to work one day?
Godzilla fans will enjoy the match up of Titanoboa and another eatArt project; the 1,700lb Mondo Spider from Burning Man. The video from the Titanoboa site is more surreal robo-ballet than monster fight, but still entertaining.