Exploring Mexico's railways

Set in the foreground, a small shiny metallic car-like vehicle is dwarfed by rust coloured mountains and cloudy sky behind.

4 August 2014


In 2007, Mexican brothers Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domené (aka “Los Ferronautas”) decided to build a futuristic vehicle to explore Mexico’s abandoned railways. After 4 years of designing, building and testing, SEFT-1 was born, thanks to a team of artists, engineers and robotic experts. The vehicle is not only a work of art, but an engineering masterpiece. Built from a truck donated by a private company, it looks like a mix between the batmobile and a formula 1 car. It’s designed to travel on both rail and road, with steel wheels to use on tracks which switch to regular tires for the road.

The best bit of SEFT-1 isn’t the external appearance, though, it’s the retro interior. The two brothers added colourful buttons and switches to their creation, and even if not all of them work (there is a big red self-destroy button that was added for fun), some have great uses. There is a button that makes the car automatically take photos from the exterior, and one that updates the project website with the location of the vehicle. The car travelled over 5000 miles, and is now being shown in museums around the world, a fantastic example of what can happen when engineering, robotics and electronics meet art.

To read more about this amazing project, go to www.seft1.net.

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