World Wide Art Resources Website

Backyard Monsters
The World of Insects
January 21 - May 21, 1997


Backyard Monsters

Monster bugs are on the move. Should you be scared? Not at all. These monsters just seem real. They're actually computer-controlled robots with amazingly lifelike looks and movements. Up to a hundred times life-size, the robots are part of Backyard Monsters, traveling exhibit for zoos and museums. The exhibit aims to help people better appreciate insects and members of the spider family.

So that these creepy crawlies aren't too creepy, they're displayed in backyard settings that resemble their natural habitats.

The huge insects - a scorpion, a black widow spider and fly, a praying mantis, a unicorn beetle, and a dragonfly were built by Creative Presentations of Valencia, California. "We started by studying live bugs," says Michael Traxler, a figure finisher for the company. He explains: "Artists built models while a robotics expert programmed the movements. Workers molded plastic and fiberglass frameworks., stuffed them with hydraulic parts, then added final touches like hair and eyes."


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