The Black Rock Arts Foundation has asked Charlie Brinson and crew to create Titanoboa: a 50ft hydraulically actuated and semi-automatically controlled snake made from aluminum and powered by lithium polymer batteries. A team of electronic engineers are designing Titanoboa so that her movements anatomically mimic those of an actual snake. They are devising a plan for her to be controlled by a lone rider who will sit on a saddle just behind her ferocious head. Named after the ancient serpent that roamed the earth over 60 million years ago, Titanoboa will be slithering through the Playa this August, delighting and frightening Burning Man visitors.
A serpent from the past warns us of our future
60 million years ago, in a sweltering climate 6 to 8 degrees warmer than today, there lived a monstrous snake called Titanoboa. These temperatures, which are at the upper end of climate change projections, allowed this cold blooded brute to reach its size. The Titanoboa project seeks to reincarnate this 50 foot, 1 ton beast as an electromechanical serpent meant to provoke discussions on our changing climate in a historical context. This giant reincarnation will roam the earth striking terror in the hearts of those who dare to look into its eyes and contemplate the future of our planet.
How will your contribution help Titanoboa?
With the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Titanoboa team will be able to build elaborate scales to protect the snake’s electronic insides and purchase control components to help her slither more gracefully. The Kickstarter campaign will also help Titanoboa to grow… her size is not limited to 50 ft and the larger she is, the better she’ll look and perform. The more money we raise, the more grandiose, sophisticated and agile she’ll be!!
Short answer: We're fronting the money (credit) and want to extend the deadline as much as possible to achieve the goal!
Long Answer: We decided to put the deadline just after Burning Man because we figure the project may get increased publicity during BM so may get more backers that way. We’re already purchasing lots of materials using our volunteer team’s credit cards so whether the money comes just before Burningman or just after, is not much different. Either way, it will help pay down a portion of the $40k cost of the materials for this project. Also, just to clarify that none of the team is getting paid for any of the 1000’s of hours of volunteer labour involved in this project.
Moreover, the project will go on to be improved beyond Burning Man. We’ll continue to upgrade the controls and extend the overall length. Burning Man is a big milestone, but it’s not the end of the line.
First, that would be awesome. We'll find a way to personally high five and hug every backer.
Second, there are a ton of ideas out there to make Titanoboa more badass: as in bigger and one day even amphibious !
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- (60 days)