Fifty-foot electromechanical snake prowls CES (pictures)
It might come as a surprise, but is a 50-foot electromechanical snake -- the Titanoboa -- really out of place? CNET doesn't think so.
It's the Nevada desert. It's arid. There are thousands of people. There are blinky lights and LEDs are dominant. But no, it's not Burning Man.
While it's actually CES here, a flavor of Burning Man is in effect in the form of Titanoboa, a 50-foot-long electromechanical snake. Built by the Vancouver, B.C., arts collective EatArt, Titanoboa (which is here courtesy of its sponsor, Lenovo) showcases mobile and wireless technology; art and science; and plain fun.
Titanoboa has a 50-foot-long custom-welded column of aluminum vertebrae, and between each section is a universal joint (like a spinal cord). It's mobile thanks to hydraulic cylinders, and it works thanks to communication between six different "brains," or Arduino micro-controllers, like this one.
The Titanoboa team is at CES thanks to sponsorship from Lenovo, which provided the team with tablets on which they're running a special app. Though this is an Android phone, it shows the basics of the app's potential -- which delivers real-time data such as battery voltage.