Ever dreamed of riding on a giant ‘robot’ elephant?
Well, I hadn’t… until I laid eyes on Le Grande Elephant.
It’s 12 meters (39 feet) high, eight meters wide (26 feet) and 21 meters (69 feet) long.
Le Grand Elephant is 48,400kg (48.4 metric tons) of steel, wood and leather, and has a speed of 1 to 3km/h (0.6mph to 1.9mph).
Recently Tom Scott made a YouTube video about his experience with the mechanical elephant in Nantes, France.
“For the movement of the head, the ears and the eyes, and also the trunk they’re all programmed by a computer,” William Lhommedé, mediator-machinist of Le Grande Elephant, told Scott.
“So you have 44 hydraulic cylinders on the machine, six gas cylinders and finally four pneumatic cylinders.
“To make the elephant move we need two people – one pilot and one guide inside… to assure the safety of people… but also to make the scream of the elephant.
In 2018, the robot elephant was turned into a hybrid.
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A total of 50 passengers can hitch a ride on the robot elephant at one time and it costs less than $10 for a trip that lasts 30 minutes.
Scott says the attraction has a “boarding procedure like an airport” and footage shows passengers getting on using an aerobridge.
You can then ride from the comfort of the indoor lounge complete with French doors, of course, and a balcony.
If you want to experience the elephant in the great outdoors you can do so via the terrace.
But if a giant elephant doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s also a mechanical caterpillar, spider and heron.
Scott says the attractions surrounding the elephant, which also includes a carousel, which basically makes the area a “small theme park”.