Two Saturdays ago… I witnessed something heretofore unseen.
“What was it?” you ask innocently?
It was something the likes of which you would never believe. And even though the answer may give you night terrors, you should really pay attention and stop asking so many questions.
And just as those hedonistic vices known as “drinks and dancing” started to take hold… a giant robotic spider the size of a Honda Civic took over everyone’s brains!
Well, maybe just their iPhone screens.
Dubbed “The world’s first and only zero-emissions walking vehicle,” the Mondo Spider was created in August 2006 by a group of young engineers who participated in the Vancouver Junkyard Wars the year prior.
Through their passion for developing the 1600 lb walking beast, the group created a registered charity foundation called eatART and have since created several amazing large-scale art pieces.
In fact, in a few short weeks the Mondo Spider will participate in CODE Live as part of the Vancouver Olympic Games. Impressive!
So who are these people, and what exactly are they doing?
In their own words:
“eatART fosters new media art research with a focus on large-scale, kinetic and robotic sculpture. Our projects use art to educate people about the role energy plays in our lives and to raise questions about the social and environmental impact of energy use.”
Basically, they’re a bunch of engineering nerds that loves to party, build robots, and promote green energy use. Totally awesome.
Interestingly enough, the Games actually commissioned the Mondo Spider’s switch from a gregarious, gas-guzzling machine to a skulking, green-powered walking vehicle. It’s pretty incredible how little noise the thing makes. It’s now got the stealth of an actual spider! Très creepy… and très cool.
Check out this video of the Mondo Spider in action on Vancouver is Awesome.
FYI – That’s the very same night LR was present! (Though the video was of the earlier unveiling…)
I should mention that these guys really do know how to throw a party. Great tunes, stocked bar, interesting people, and a walking spider to boot. What more could your favourite girl-about-town ask for?
If you’d like to learn more, read this delightful post on the Mondo Spider on The Daily Gumboot. Also keep your eyes peeled for the machine walking about during the Olympics; you may not notice it until it has you in its technical grasp!
Photo courtesy of the lovely and talented Michael S. Joyce.