BOCA BEARINGS 2014 INNOVATION COMPETITION

Titanoboa

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Charlie Brinson
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ABOUT THIS PROJECT


Tell us briefly about your project. Is it a work of art or does it serve another function?

The Titanoboa project seeks to reincarnate a 50-foot, one-ton snake killed off by past climate change. Today, as fossilized life is relentlessly exhumed and burned to fuel modern progress, primordial spirits are stirring as this fossilized beast is resurrected to become a provocative omen. Titanoboa is an experimental creature made up of 20 aluminum vertebrae, oil for blood, a lithium polymer battery life force, and a distributed array of micro-controller brains. This full-size reincarnation will roam the earth, terrifying and enlightening those who dare to ride the snake along the razor’s edge between hope and fear, as they contemplate the future of our planet.

When did you start working on this project and how long did it take you to complete?

Design and computer modeling started in 2010, and the initial construction happened in spring and summer of 2011. In 2012, we hope to realize the full 50ft length and enable the machine to move in new and exciting ways. A large crew came together to help build this project. This project was built at eatART, an art lab in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The Mondo Spider was built 6 years ago.

What was your goal in building this project?

By building Titanoboa, we wanted to create an innovative project that is an educational experiment through its construction and deployment. We hope to generate discussion about EV technology, and critical energy issues. We wanted to create something so improbable that it inspires others by refreshing their ideas of what is possible.

Does your project help to solve a problem? If so what problem?

We think humanity faces some crazy times in the years to come. We have massive challenges to deal with in terms of the way we use energy and technology. If this gets people talking more about important issues, or inspires them to take on their own projects, then we’re happy.

What makes your idea unique?

To our knowledge, nobody has made a fully automated serpent of this size that is propelled via serpentine motion. Likewise the Mondo Spider is the world’s largest electric walking vehicle.

In what capacity are you using bearings and what type of bearings?

The bearings used on Titanoboa are oil impregnated bronze bushings. The Mondo Spider uses self-aligning roller bearings with custom made urethane bushings.

What is the most important thing you want people to know about your project?

It’s going to get bigger and crazier and it’s here because we’re using fossil fuels like they’re going out of style.

How will you use the $10,000 prize?

We would use the prize to upgrade Titanoba to make it faster and more powerful so it can perform side winding motion, climb over cars and rear up to strike at things.

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