The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

Please cue Miss Wray

Posted by Shannon O'Grady on November 26, 2008

There isn't a can of bug spray big enough...

The spider rises up like something out of the glory day of Sci-Fi movies

THIS IS NOT A MOVIE STILL!  This is not related to any movie in anyway.  This is a giant walking mechanical spider built by French artists and engineers La Machine, for fun and science!  Hurray for Science!  Thirty hard working men and women built and modeled this mechanical marvel on a real spider and set it loose (with a properly trained and snappily dressed team of 18 to run it) on Liverpool, England.

Sadly, I’ve come across this info too late (thanks Daily Planet) and sadly we cannot all hop aboard the next flight to England to see this marvel.  “La Princesse”, as the spider has been dubbed, roamed around Lime Street Station in Liverpool for five days in September as part of cultural celebrations.  I know, I know, it’s old news but it’s SO COOL.

Here the lower tier full of operators can be seen above the crowd

18 crew members view the crowd from above

Ok, so how is this related to tech?  COME ONE!  Can you IMAGINE the engineering that went in to this thing!  It walks on 8 spindly little legs OVER the crowds without hurting a SOUL!  I’m sorry if I’m gushing, but having engineers and computer science majors for friends has left me with an appreciation for this stuff.

Think about it, this is composed of the same parts that move cranes and bulldozers, lifts garage doors and Zamboni squeegee bits.  That’s like the Mythbusters cobbling a car out of Meccano!  Can you imagine seeing that machine rolling around the streets of San Francisco?  Actually… that sounds like a wicked idea… I think I’m gonna go e-mail that in to M5, but I digress.  The point is, this is an amazing fushion of technical science and art, and I would love to know more about how this beauty was built.

Also, as an explanation of the title for this piece: Fay Wray was the original movie scream queen, and a fellow Albertan.  You probably know her best as the blond in the original King Kong who screams bloody horor as she’s dragged away by the ape.

I’ll stop ranting and raving at you now, and I appologize for the overzelous post but this is the kind of madness-meets-art-meets-science-project thing we need to see more of to really get people interested in funding and paying attention to the Science and Engineering community.


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