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‘Smart’ potty or dumb idea? Wacky gadgets at CES
_MONDO SPIDER, TITANBOA
A pair of giant hydraulic and lithium polymer battery controlled beasts from Canadian art organization eatART caught some eyes at the show. A rideable 8-legged creature, Mondo Spider weighs 1,600 pounds and can crawl forward at about 5 miles per hour on battery power for roughly an hour. The 1,200-pound Titanoboa slithers along the ground at an as yet unmeasured speed.
Computer maker Lenovo sponsored the group to show off the inventions at CES.
Hugh Patterson, an engineer who volunteers his time to making the gizmos, said they were made in part to learn more about energy use. One lesson from the snake is that “side winding,” in which the snake corkscrews its way along the ground, is one of the most efficient ways of moving along soft ground, like sand.
Titanoboa was made to match the size of a 50-foot long reptile whose fossilized remains were dated 50 million years ago, when the world was 5 to 6 degrees warmer. The creature was built “to provoke discussion about climate change,” Patterson said.
The original version of Mondo Spider, meanwhile, first appeared at the Burning Man arts gathering in Nevada in 2006.
WHO IT’S FOR: Your inner child, Burning Man participants, people with extra-large living rooms.
PRICE: The spider’s parts cost $26,000. The Titanoboa costs $70,000. Engineers provided their time for free and both took “thousands of hours” to build, Patterson said.
Ortutay contributed from New York. AP Technology Writer Peter Svensson and Luke Sheridan from AP Television contributed to this story from Las Vegas.
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