The robot that transforms the snow into ice by trampling it


Inventor and poet, Joaquin Fargas has created Glaciator, a robot that transforms snow into ice by packing it regularly and consistently, to fix it to the glacier mass: it is his contribution and his hummingbird's share(*), to fight against the melting of the polar ice-caps.

Recent studies show that the melting of ice caused by global warming could do more than raising the sea level: it could wake up frozen viruses. Since 2003, large viruses have been found ensconced in permafrost, a layer of soil in the Arctic that is usually permanently frozen. Rising temperatures and melting ice could see the reappearance of ancient deadly viruses. It looks like all kinds of infection-causing viruses could defrost as the world warms.


The robot is moving slowly and its light weight compacts the snow which accelerates the transformation of snow into ice through a chemical reaction in a polar environment. "It is a chimeric weapon against global warming, it demonstrates the ability of men to undertake a fight apparently impossible" the artist explains. Glaciator has been presented at the 2017 Biennal in Antarctica.

(*)One day, a long time ago and in a faraway place, or so the legend goes, there was a huge forest fire that was raging the countryside. All the animals were terrified and helplessly watching the impending disaster.
But there in the middle of the flames, was a tiny hummingbird busy flying from a small pond to the fire, each time fetching a few drops with its beak to throw on the flames. And then again and again. After a while, an armadillo, annoyed by this useless agitation on the part of the hummingbird, cried out: “Tiny bird! Don’t be a fool. It is not with those miniscule drops of water that you are going to put out the fire ” To which the hummingbird replied, “Could be, but I’m going to do my bit”.
Pierre Rhabi

Photos and video © Joaquin Fargas

Glaciator by Joaquin Fargas >>

Monday 2 December 2019, 06:24