A British robot design team has unleashed a gigantic walking six legged spider robot onto an unsuspecting world, called Mantis it functions with a 2.2 litre turbo engine, weighs an impressive 4,000 pounds, stands over nine feet high and can crush a human skull in seconds with its powerful titanium jaws (nah, we made that last bit up, it doesn’t really have jaws, yet!).
Mantis can be controlled on-board or via wi-fi and according to the team at mantisrobot.com the walking spider machine began life as just an idea back in 2007 with private funding for the project being secured in 2009 to help make the dream (nightmare?) a reality.
During the summer of 2012 after three years of research and development, the robotic arachnid made its first successful test drive, which means it took no more than four years for the creators MicroMagic Systems to build what they call “the biggest all terrain operational hexapod robot in the world”.
Mantis was the idea of of Matt Denton chief designer and founder of MicroMagic Systems, who called the walking spider automaton, “a very expensive toy”, the cost is believed to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In terms of inspiration Denton told CNN that his fascination with walking machines began at a young age when he first watched sci-fi movies such as Star Wars and seeing the imposing images of an AT-AT all terrain armored transporter walking across a snow scape introduced him to the concept of using legged locomotion for vehicles.
Mantis isn’t the first spider robot to be built by the company but Matt did say that it was without doubt the biggest, previous machines have appeared in popular movie’s such as the Harry Potter series.
The machine isn’t perfected just yet, as Denton told the Discovery Channel the robots biggest challenge was not being able to see, it only knows it has hit an object after actually hitting it.
The robots web site writes that Mantis is now available for private hire, custom events and sponsorship.
Mantis the Six Legged Robot Spider – Video