Getting that perfect cliff-side imagery isn't always possible for humans. Enter British artist James Capper. His remote-controlled hydraulic prototype might be up for the job.
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Capper showed off the robotic piece that he's calling "Mountaineering Prototype" recently at Art Basel in Miami Beach. His large-scale installation, presented by the Paul Kasmin Gallery, is just one sculpture in his "Earth Marking" series.
"It's half inspired by the earth-moving machines like cranes and things you see in the construction business, and also the anatomy of insects," he told Dezeen. Four hydraulic legs can be moved using a hefty remote control box connected to the prototype by a thick wire. Capper was adamant about it not being a robot or autonomous.
ArtNet's Laura van Straaten got to try out the prototype. Making it move wasn't easy. "With Capper's help, I did get it to crouch and do what yogis might call a cat stretch," she reported. Watch the Mountaineering Prototype in "action" here.
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This beast certainly caught my attention - I love seeing robotic prototypes designed to go where humans can't - but it's not mountain-ready. The thing moves painfully slow, and mostly just tore up some nice grass in Miami Beach. Plus the controls require a human to be nearby.
When a robotic mountaineer reaches new heights, I expect Google to be behind the controls. Meanwhile, humans can always take their Trekker on an adventure.
Photo Credit: Paul Kasmin Gallery via ArtNet