50-foot mechanical spider, engineered and manufactured by LaMachine.
If you are afraid of spiders, you would best not be visiting Liverpool’s Lime Street. Why? Well, Liverpool is currently hosting the Capital of Culture Celebration, exhibiting some of the city’s unique cultural heritage. One of the main attractions at this show is a massive 50-foot mechanical spider, engineered and manufactured by the French company La Machine. The 37-tonne 8-legged machine has drawn lots of attention and attraction, from the very first day it was launched. It was mounted to the side of the Concourse House building in just one night, and heralded the launch of the five-day festival. Many visitors have expressed mixed reactions, some being quite happy that such modern artwork was being displayed; while others were negative about it, mostly because of their personal fear of spiders. However, all spectators experienced a mutual feeling of deep interest for the mechanical monster.
Helen Marriage, the manager of the cultural show, had lots of say about the robot and the show itself. She explained that the machine has 50 axes of movement, allowing it to resemble its real-life counterpart when moving about. Also, the unit will be operated by 12 individuals strapped onto the robot’s frame, which is made of a combination of steel and poplar wood. She promised that the show would be very interesting and said that the robot would be “waking up” on Friday. It will be taken down on Thursday and transferred to the city’s new arena, where it will come to life the day after, for all to see. It will be in action all the way to the spectacular close on Sunday evening. The spider was built in Nantes, France, and then shipped to a secret location in Merseyside, North West England, where it was assembled.
From the pictures I have seen, it seems that La Machine has done an incredible job of creating a life-like metallic spider. From my perspective, I really think the exposure of all the electrical and hydraulic cables and lines really puts the finishing touches on the unit, making it look like little hair fibers that you see on real spiders. Personally, I am also terrified of these critters, but this object is certainly very interesting to look at, and seeing it operate may be yet another spectacle.