This Robot Snake Is Way, Way Bigger Than You Think It Is

In fact, this robot snake is big enough to eat you. RUN!

1 min read
This Robot Snake Is Way, Way Bigger Than You Think It Is

Hey look, it's a robot snake. We've seen lotsofrobotsnakes. We like robot snakes. What this picture doesn't properly communicate, though, is that this particular robot snake is large enough to swallow you whole. 

Yeah, uh, it's big. Very big. Called Titanoboa (after an actual prehistoric snake of the same size), when completed this robot will be 15 meters long (50 feet), weigh a ton (literally), and range in diameter from 0.3 to 1 meter (1 to 3 feet), which is easily enough to down a skinny human without even chewing. A scalable lithium-ion battery system powers the hydraulics, which can output up to 18 horsepower, meaning that this thing could quite easily drag you away with it if it so chose, presumably to strangle and then eat you, 'cause that's what snakes do.

Of course, it would have to catch you first, but Titanoboa seems to have no issues whatsoever when it comes to snakelike movement:

That spider thing, by the way, is called Mondo Spider, you can totally ride in it, and there's more info here.

Titanoboa made an appearance at Burning Man this year, and if you happen to live up in Vancouver, you can see it at its home base at Great Northern Way Campus on December 15.

[ Titanoboa ] via [ CrabFu ]

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The Bionic-Hand Arms Race

The prosthetics industry is too focused on high-tech limbs that are complicated, costly, and often impractical

12 min read
A photograph of a young woman with brown eyes and neck length hair dyed rose gold sits at a white table. In one hand she holds a carbon fiber robotic arm and hand. Her other arm ends near her elbow. Her short sleeve shirt has a pattern on it of illustrated hands.

The author, Britt Young, holding her Ottobock bebionic bionic arm.

Gabriela Hasbun. Makeup: Maria Nguyen for MAC cosmetics; Hair: Joan Laqui for Living Proof

In Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, members of the fictitious Baltimore Gun Club, all disabled Civil War veterans, restlessly search for a new enemy to conquer. They had spent the war innovating new, deadlier weaponry. By the war’s end, with “not quite one arm between four persons, and exactly two legs between six,” these self-taught amputee-weaponsmiths decide to repurpose their skills toward a new projectile: a rocket ship.

The story of the Baltimore Gun Club propelling themselves to the moon is about the extraordinary masculine power of the veteran, who doesn’t simply “overcome” his disability; he derives power and ambition from it. Their “crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc [rubber] jaws, silver craniums [and] platinum noses” don’t play leading roles in their personalities—they are merely tools on their bodies. These piecemeal men are unlikely crusaders of invention with an even more unlikely mission. And yet who better to design the next great leap in technology than men remade by technology themselves?

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