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