About this project
LAST FEW DAYS! Pledge Now to receive one of the original Numbered Tails at these prices!
Who we are..
Greyworld are a group of artists that create playful public art usually in urban spaces. Our work has been shown around the world - much of it is permanently installed in different cities. Our biog has more details about us, and our individual roles. Over the last 20 years we have accrued a great deal of experience conceiving and creating exciting projects around the world.
In the beginning..
As part of our experiments in interaction and play, we decided to create a Tail that we could wear on our journeys around town. We wanted an extra limb that could do all the naughty things you dream of, but don't dare. Having a Tail lets you express your cheeky side. It gives a voice to your emotions even when you're standing still.. And it looks fabulous out and about!
So we have been working on creating the perfect Tail for some years. The video above is of an earlier prototype. Our final design is much more advanced - being fully controllable, it can bend and flex and knock things off tables, tremble and twist and curl, stand up and of course wag and get frisky.. It can also dance in time to music - but more about that later.
Now we are ready..
After lots and lots of testing, its time to make this available! This Kickstarter campaign will allow us to finally create the finished product, and make available these special Tails for the first time.
Whenever we have showed off the prototype Tail, the response has been overwhelming. Can I have one? Do you sell them? Make me a Tail! Finally, after lots of experimentation, the answer is yes.. This Kickstarter project will help us make them in quantity, get volume discounts to produce them at an affordable price, and expand the range of furs and other materials that can be chosen.. It will also let us improve the instruction booklet and create a grooming kit and case..
greyworld’s Tail is approximately 60cm long (24″) plus tufty end and will be created in Panther (Black) Snow Leopard (Black and White) Lion(ess) (Beige) or Bond Villain Cat (White) Almost any fabric can be added as an option to Tail - we have tested sequins, pin stripes (for a formal Tail) Tartan and even leather.. It can also be custom made, to make it shorter or longer, or bulkier.. Less feline, more canine.. More dinosaur! Further down the page, there is a video showing a different style of Tail.
STOP PRESS! For different Tail shapes, see the updates! They are all possible!
Sliding on to your belt, the small attached battery pack slips in to your front or back pocket and you are ready to go. Each tail comes with a remote control keyfob to select the movement modes. Each of the 4 modes is selected by pressing one of the buttons. Mode One is Slow moves (eg slow wags, trembles and flicks) Mode Two is fast moves (wags, twirls and flicks) Mode Three is a selection of all the moves in an fun mix, great for setting and forgetting. And the Mode Four is for dancing.. Tap the button in time to the music and watch your tail dance along to the beat!
Every backer will receive a copy of our book In The City, and those that get a Tail will also receive a Certificate of Authenticity, and a special booklet. Kickstarter backers who chose the highest tiers will also be able to create a custom Tail, in very wide selection of fabrics and furs. Everyone will have our deep gratitude for helping us bring these Tails to reality..
Inside the curvy, lightweight tail housing lies the clever stuff to make the Tail move. Whilst there are very few other tails out there, the ones we could find had a very "flat" left-right wag that felt too robotic. Our system uses a twin servo mechanism, allowing not just left-right wagging, but also to stand the Tail up on end. And because the parts are light, and the servos have some real power, we can also flick and twist the Tail too, in a much more natural way.
A small custom PCB inside the housing holds the PIC that stores the moves, and this is controlled by a remote control unit that interfaces with the PCB. It took a while to get it in to the right size with enough code space for all the moves. But eventually, its all in there..
We have had lots of enquiries about customising the Tails to suit. And most changes are possible. Shortening the Tail (like a Bob cat for example) can be done simply. If you wanted a longer Tail, please specify that when making a pledge and we will sort that out for you.
Adding bulk to the Tail is also quite possible. The servos are rated to move more weight that they currently do, so with the right bulking material, other Tail shapes (like a lizard or a dinosaur) can be easily achieved.
Lastly, it may be that some Tail wearers are interested only in a specific kind of movements (say, very slow wags, with the occasional flick for example). We are currently looking in to the feasibility of programming some Tails to order.
If you have a specific question, please send us a message and we will answer it asap. Daily updates will be posted on our Tumblr, and every few days, right here.
Below is a video of a slow moving, fluffier Tail (with Bond villain white fur..) to show a different kind of feel.
If a backer would like multiple Tails, that's great no problem. However, this is only allowed for backers who are already getting a Tail through one of the pledges.
To receive one more Naked Tail for example, add an extra £85 to your pledge. To receive another Tail in one of the four main furs, please add an extra £125. For multiple Dream Tails, please add an extra £165.
What we will do..
Raising funds through Kickstarter will allow us to create the production environment that the project deserves.
Firstly, we will get the ABS plastic elements of the control housing and internal support structure injection moulded. The 3d files are ready now for production having been tested on our in house printer. Although tooling for injection moulding can be expensive, it will allow us to produce each Tail at a considerable discount versus 3d printing in small numbers.
Quantity discounts have been arranged with suppliers for the servos and remote control units. These form the most expensive elements of the Tail, and need to be of high quality. After extensive testing, we have found a supplier with the right units for the right price.
A local printer has give us a firm quote for packaging and printing costs which is within our budget. This will also allow us to professionally print the instruction booklet too. We have worked with these printers before, and they are excellent.
Lastly, fur swatches have been sourced from a major importer who has the variety of product to satisfy the most ardent Tail wearer! With over 30 different furs on his books, we have an excellent choice to offer Deluxe Tail purchasers. The four standard furs are available as commodity products.
We will also create a custom case and grooming kit for special occasions! A customisable case has been sourced from a factory specialising in product cases and the samples looked really good. Once the product is funded, we will visit the factory and talk about small changes we will need, to create the perfect Tail case.
Please help us fund the Tail! With your assistance, we can finally create the playful naughty extra limb that we have all been dreaming of - your cheeky side made visible.
Whether its a small or a large pledge, every one of them helps us achieve our goal, and hopefully make a lot of people smile..!
Risks and challenges
One of the most important elements of the tail is to make the control box small, light and unobtrusive. The movies at the top of the page were made when the control box was still too large. We have solved this by 3d printing a more svelte, curved box, that just fits better.
Our intention is to get this part injection moulded, allowing the cost for each tail to be reduced. We have spoken to injection moulding specialists and see no issues in this, but we will make sure that we keep a close eye on that part of the manufacturing.
Our main risk will be a supplier delaying the shipping of component parts. We have a lot of experience in supply management, and have tolerances built in to our required dates. However it will need to be monitored closely throughout the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Absolutely. First of all we are happy to supply a pattern with your tail so you can chose your own coverings for it.
Also, if you want to "bulk" the tail up - by adding padding, to create different looks, that is also possible. The servos are reasonably powerful, and can move more weight than they are currently moving. So within reason, it should be easy to achieve that shape and keep the natural movement. We will be posting some video shortly of slower movements, so you can see the smooth action.
Shortening or lengthening the Tail is also possible - let us know if you need a slightly shorter Naked Tail and we will supply it. Longer Tails can be made to order for a (very) small additional pledge.
With a little imagination, we believe that almost any kind of Tail can be made - from rodents to dinosaurs!
No. No animal products are used in the manufacturing of these Tails. All furs are artificial, and feel really good to the touch. We have short and long furs, as well as a host of different kinds of materials, like sequins, pin stripes and tartans.
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