eatART (Energy Awareness Through Art), the eclectic Vancouver-based art group that creates projects promoting energy awareness, is behind both the Alpha Leg and the larger Prosthesis. The Vancouver group trucked the robot leg all the way to New York to show that even green machines can be mean. Their device actuates the leg by using pressurized hydraulics that are charged by an electric battery, which has only one function – to stomp very angrily.
It would also be more accurate to call the Alpha Leg and exoskeleton or an extension of yourself – a prosthesis, if you will – because there is no computer that goes between the user and the machinery. The user basically straps into a mechanical harness to take direct control of machine. When you move your arm, the leg moves right in synchronization with it. There isn’t any control software whatsoever, which is why eatART calls it an “anti-robot”
Although the Alpha Leg is a pretty massive on its own, it’s just a 2:3 scale version of one of the robot’s four legs. The final version will be a much larger quadruped walker that the user actuates with all of their limbs. If this makes you think of Pacific Rim and Jaegers, you’re not very far off from reality. The eatART group has been working on building up Prosthesis as a concept for the last six years and they hope to finally build the machine with the help of $100,000 in funding on Indiegogo.
Images © Kevin Lee for Inhabitat