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I’ll just say it upfront: I’m arachnophobic. Once, I stopped my car in the middle of the street and ran to the nearest house to ask some guy for help removing a spider from my rearview mirror. I nearly had a heart attack in Honduras when I came face to face with a huge jumping water spider (spiders should neither live on water nor be able to jump). My arachnophobia goes back to childhood, when…well, let’s not get into that.
Suffice it to say that the T8 Octopod Robot (they’re smart not to put the word “spider” in its name) is the first robot I’ve not wanted to own. Just looking at it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I guess that’s a compliment to its creators, Robugtix.
The arachnoid robot is 3D printed in high resolution and uses 26 servo motors powered by Robugtix’s Bigfoot Inverse Kinematics Engine, which performs all calculations and controls its movements. All a user has to do is send a simple directional command and the engine takes care of the rest. T8 owners can either pre-program sequences or, worse, control the robot remotely with the Robugtix Controller. That means one could walk the T8 into someone’s purse or put it in someone’s bed and make it move. Sorry — I can only imagine the myriad nefarious ways one could use this robot. I’d even prefer a remote-controlled cockroach.
Objectively, though, the Bigfoot Inverse Kinematics Engine is pretty impressive. Robots often walk with a strange and stilted gate — usually, their movements aren’t particularly fluid and the machinery behind the locomotion is pretty obvious. But the T8 has a gait and fluidity that makes it look a bit too realistic, if you ask me. The single most terrifying aspect of spiders is the way they move those sinister legs, and T8 has captured that all too well.
After watching that video, tell me you wouldn’t be just a little creeped out if you happened across the T8. But if you enjoy that feeling, all you have to do is pony up $1,350 for the little robo-beast (the remote controller and wireless modules are extra). Maybe the next model will spin a web to catch robot flies.
Robugtix makes more than robo-spiders. They also make iitsii, a robot hexapod, which is powered by the same kind of engine, uses 18 servos, and costs only $250. Plus, it’s cuddly by comparison.