Large white walking machine

Prosthesis: The Anti-Robot

Incubated in the eatART Lab, Prosthesis was originally an independent art project by Jonathan Tippett, co-creator of The Mondo Spider. The project has since evolved into ExoSapien Technologies, a for-profit company with the vision to create a world in which large scale powered exo-suits are commonplace.

The concept dates back to 2006 when Jon envisioned building a giant, exo-skeletal walking machine as a celebration of human skill. After a detour designing and building a different walking machine, the Mondo Spider, Jon assembled a team in 2010 and began working in earnest on Prosthesis. Over the next 5 years dozens of volunteers and engineering student teams helped Jon construct and test a single ⅔ scale leg, dubbed The Alpha Leg.

In 2016 Jon co-founded what is now ExoSapien Technologies with Aaron Fidler, Founder and then CEO of Furrion Ltd to bring the fictional backstory of mech racing to reality. Aaron and Furrion provided the resources needed to build Jon’s vision.

Through 2016 Prosthesis took shape in the eatART lab with the combined effort of the larger eatART community. Several members of the community joined the effort full time including Mondo Spider alum Ryan Johnston and Sam Meyer. The current Chief Operations Officer, Sam Carter initially took on the lead fabrication role for the build.

Prosthesis stood on its feet for the first time in January 2017 at CES in Las Vegas and then by November of that year Jon was able to walk the suit. So after nearly two years of fabrication, training and development it was established without question that the team had created a fully functional mech.

Since then the team has continued to work on increasing the capabilities of the mech with faster, more powerful movement and more responsive controls. In 2019 former eatART ED and 2010 Prosthesis student team alum Curtis Perrin joined the company. In the fall of 2020 pilot training experiences were offered publicly. These test pilots are helping to usher in the next phase of development; informing the design of 2nd generation mechs and setting the foundation of mech sports moving forward. Through this process we aim to inspire the creation of an entire sports league based on these huge, powerful, human piloted machines.

Physical Description and Philosophy

100% Human Controlled, 100% Electric Powered
SIZE: H 4m x W 5.5m x L 5.1m (H 12ft x W 18ft x L 15ft)
WEIGHT: 4,000kg (8800lb)

Prosthesis amplifies the pilots movements through a full body, on-board exo-skeletal interface. The machine has no computerized control system or gyros and is entirely dependent on the skill of the pilot to operate properly. This relationship reminds us, in a very immediate way, how our use of technology can convert small acts into movements of great consequence. We believe that in a world of ever increasing automation and virtualization, there is a renewed demand for authentic, challenging experiences that celebrate physical mastery and extend human potential using advanced technology.

Prosthesis has been on display at CES 2017, Burning Man 2017 and CES 2018. It attended Maker Faire Bay Area 2018 & 2019 and Amazon RE:MARS in Las Vegas in 2019. It has also been featured in hundreds of articles and dozens of videos with combined views in the 10s of millions. In 2020 Prosthesis was awarded a Guinness World Record for Largest Tetrapod Exo-Skeleton.


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Since 2010 Prosthesis has sponsored over a dozen student design and engineering projects.

Close shot of a large robotic snake coiled in an alleyway
Titanoboa; a 50ft long snake made of metal with a group of people dressed in lab coats surrounding it.

Titanoboa, the 50ft electro-mechanical snake, was incubated at eatART by a large team of creators and builders (including Jonathan Faille, Hugh Patterson,
Michelle La Haye, Markus Hager, James Simard and Julian Fong), and proudly mothered by Charlie Brinson and Markus Hager.

Due to climate change, a creature called the Titanoboa went extinct more than 60 million years ago. In 2011, it was brought back to life in the form of an electro-mechanical kinetic sculpture. It grew to real-life full-size in 2015: 50 feet of aluminum, lithium battery, micro-controllers, LEDs, and mind-boggling modes of propulsion. Its goal: to provoke discussion about climate change and energy use; to enable learning through engineering & creation of a work of art.

The Titanoboa has slithered its way through numerous events and festivals. One can see it in action here or even hire it by contacting and witness the experience live.

Titanoboa Project Page

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Close up of 8 legged walking machine that has legs lit by red EL wire.
Man riding 8-legged, metal walking vehicle also known as the Mondo Spider

The Mondo Spider is a rideable 8-legged, walking, electric powered vehicle. It was lead by Leigh Christie, Jonathan Tippett, Ryan Johnston, Sam Meyer and Charlie Brinson. The first rendition of the project was created in 2005 at Vancouver Junkyard Wars and was made of wood. The project was remade in steel in 2006, now weighing 1,600 lbs and was the size of a car. In 2009, the the project was commissioned by CODE Live to switch from fuel to electrical energy as part of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. This upgrade to battery power enabled the Mondo Spider to perform relatively silently indoors, and to boast the title of “world’s first zero-emission walking vehicle.”

The meanderings of the Mondo Spider, many venues over, have inspired awe and wonder. Its creation has challenged the dominant perception of locomotion, energy and power. See the project in action here.

Project site

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A group of people riding a vehicle that has four bike wheels. A banner attached to the bike reads "Black Ghost"
Peddle powered vehicle that is the size of a car

The Black Ghost Electric Bike Car is a mobile, highly interactive art piece which tightens the loop of electricity production and consumption. The project is lead by Curtis Perrin and built by Spencer Treffry, Sam Carter, Grant Harris, and Melody Copeman in 2011.

Black Ghost is named after an Amazonian fish: the Black Ghost Knifefish, the most energy-efficient electric fish on the planet. It is a mobile art piece, a mode of transportation, and a platform generating and storing power.  It allows riders to travel great distances using pedal power and optional electric assistance from hub motors built into the rear wheels. Furthermore, the Bike Car doubles as a pedal-powered electricity generation and storage station. At events the bike car allows participants, spectators and entertainers to connect with one another using energy as a medium for interaction and excitement!

It is hard to fathom our modern world without a stable energy supply. With energy’s ease of use and availability, we often forget the cost our consumption has has on our environment. By putting electricity production at a human scale, our hope is that the Black Ghost will excite and inspire others to learn more about sustainable and clean energy.

Pedal Power Anything, Anywhere!


  • Mobile pedal-powered electricity generation and storage!
  • Built in sound, lighting and power monitoring elements to enhance crowd engagement!
  • 2 standard 120v outlets
  • 1500W of AC power
  • 48V LiFePO4 Battery Pack
  • Over 4kW-h of battery power
  • 3000W of electric assistance

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