BOCA BEARINGS 2015 INNOVATION COMPETITION

Mechateuthis

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Presented By:
Barry Crawford
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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?

It is a work of interactive kinetic art. It's function is to entertain people who enjoy seeing and playing with aesthetically pleasing and well designed mechanical things. 8 people can operate the cranks at once, with each crank controlling different parts of the squid.

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

Mechateuthis has been rolling around in my mind for about two years, but I did not start building any part of it until March 2015. Over the six months since then, I have spent somewhere around 1800 hours building Mechateuthis to it's current state. It still needs a lot of finish work, as well as electric motors and controls before it will be complete.

What was your goal in building this project?

The goal was to entertain myself and others. I am driven by the desire to see the machines in my head come to life, and by the looks on the faces of people cranking when it starts to move.

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

There are still so few mechanical giant squid in the world, but now there is one more.

What makes your idea unique?

To my knowledge there are no other mechanical squids out there which use the crooked rod inside jointed segments drive mechanism or which are controlled independently by multiple people at once. Also, it looks very different than any squid sculptures I have seen.

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

Mechateuthis uses approximately 1000 plastic bushings in it's arm and tentacle joints, 22 pillow block ball bearings on the cranks and arm drive rods, 16 flanged ball bearings on the crankshafts, and around 110 standard sealed ball bearings throughout the piece.

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

Watch the video, and if you get a chance, turn a crank yourself. It is all about the visual effect. Words won't convey what is cool about this sculpture.

How will you use the $5,000 prize?

I will use the prize to buy tools and materials to make more mechanical creations for people to enjoy.

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