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Phoenix, a robotic spider
March 13, 2008 4:06 PM   Subscribe

Phoenix is sort of a robotic spider, except for the minor detail of only having six legs. It's self-contained, and remotely controlled using Bluetooth. The movements are calculated using an Excel spreadsheet, and it moves beautifully. (via)
posted by Class Goat (38 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'll take four.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 4:11 PM on March 13, 2008


The design of the hardware looks good, but, while rotating all of its legs at once may look kind of pretty, it walked a total of like 6 inches in all of those videos.

I'm still waiting to be impressed...
posted by zekinskia at 4:17 PM on March 13, 2008


That's ace. It's only a matter of time before they are made in their thousands and take over the world, mind you.
posted by Brockles at 4:18 PM on March 13, 2008


Four, hell. Give me nine million and a secret underground lair.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:19 PM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


me gustan las aranas
posted by locoindio at 4:25 PM on March 13, 2008


I was going to diss it a bit for the inverse kinematics (rather than some kind of Brooks-like world discovery mechanism) but holy crap. The fine motor control is amazing.
posted by DU at 4:41 PM on March 13, 2008


He's working on an "octopod" model. Great.
posted by odinsdream at 5:10 PM on March 13, 2008


Fuck that thing!
posted by Wonderwoman at 5:15 PM on March 13, 2008


When moving, it actually gives me the "Ahh! Spider!" reaction...
posted by Shebear at 5:15 PM on March 13, 2008


That was my reaction. Even though it only has six legs, it really felt like I was watching a tarantula.
posted by Class Goat at 5:23 PM on March 13, 2008


It's too bad Patrick Farley seems to have gone offline, he predicted these.
posted by localroger at 5:28 PM on March 13, 2008


Holy cats!

This is cooler than Captain Kirk, Cinnamon Girl, and bacon combined.

Seriously, this has got to be the most amazing hexapod I've ever seen, and by quite a wide margin.
posted by Tube at 5:57 PM on March 13, 2008


That's really cool. I love all the wiggly setup movements in the final video - reminded me very much of all the prep shifting and stretching weightlifters do before a heft.

And for those of you weirded out by it, here's hoping they don't teach it to do this.
posted by Zinger at 6:03 PM on March 13, 2008


The 6 inches thing is probably just b/c a video of it slowly traveling is less interesting to watch then 'the dance.' But seriously the motor control is incredible.

With Honda's robot so poor on uneven terrain this design could be a much better model for future industrial robots (mining / search and rescue / hazardous waste clean up / on and on.) Specifically with the detailed movement of 8 legs (attached to lasers/drills/surgical instruments/chemical sprays/markers again on and on, maybe even in field switching?)

Also a creepy spider seems somehow the perfect foot soldier of the 'industrial' capitalist machine, no? I cannot wait.
posted by oblio_one at 6:14 PM on March 13, 2008


zekinskia- right now it is more of a preprogrammed mechanical base, it is having those movements sent to it via bluetooth to execute each action. So it is more of a scripted animatronic device. It doesn't appear to have the "walk 10ft forward, turn right, kill" features implemented yet.

But as a movement platform, its killer, and im sure some special fx houses wouldn't mind having this guy on staff to wire up their next army of killer rubber spider props. (for one use).
posted by mrzarquon at 6:15 PM on March 13, 2008


Awwww...who loves her box? Phoenix loves her box! Yes her does! Yes her does!

I probably wouldn't hate real spiders nearly as much as I do if they all played with boxes like they plucky little kittens.
posted by LeeJay at 6:18 PM on March 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


like they *were" plucky little kittens, I should say. Great post, by the way!
posted by LeeJay at 6:19 PM on March 13, 2008


oblio_one- i was just thinking for infield switching you could have a rotating holster on the top of the machine, since the arms are so articulate, just have it bend up and back, drop off the laser attachment, spin holster, pickup the drill attachment. It would also allow for parts to be shifted from one side of the unit to the other, in relatively small space.
posted by mrzarquon at 6:19 PM on March 13, 2008


I saw that robot somewhere else on the web last week... and I think there was a kit you could order, because I remember thinking "pretty, but too expensive..."

But at the time I didn't see any movies. Now.... holy christ. It's a bargain, whatever it costs.

There's no mention of a kit in the links above. Anyone?
posted by rokusan at 6:20 PM on March 13, 2008


Addendum, I seriously doubt this thing has sensors, so it probably depends on a perfectly flat surface and the "box play" probably depends on exact positioning between the bot and box at the start of the play.
posted by localroger at 6:32 PM on March 13, 2008


Why'd you have to call it a "sort of a robotic spider, except for the minor detail of only having six legs" instead of a hexapod? He clearly calls it a hexapod in that post.
posted by puke & cry at 6:46 PM on March 13, 2008


OH MY FUCKING GOD KILL IT BEFORE IT LEARNS TO BREED
posted by loquacious at 6:54 PM on March 13, 2008


Alright, I really wanted to be dry and unimpressed, but that's a really, really cool thing and I'm so glad I got to see it. My life just may have been less rich without it.

Mostly I just can't get over that triumphant (taunting?) little claw-wave after she tips that box over in the last video. I just wish it came with more whirring sounds.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:58 PM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hexapod? Sometimes using words most people have heard and can visualize is more important then technical accuracy or brevity. Spell check says hexapod isn't actually a word anyway.

mrzarquon, yes, how awesome.
2nd the great post.
posted by oblio_one at 6:58 PM on March 13, 2008


At the other end of the spectrum is the Mighty Gas-powered Redneck Spider Mech.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:13 PM on March 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


There's no mention of a kit in the links above. Anyone?

Seconding the call for kit links. Would so love to tinker with this.
posted by Zinger at 7:39 PM on March 13, 2008


In five years, I'm going to have one of these. Except mine is going to be 15 feet long and I'm going to use it as a car.

It's name will be Charlie and we will have such wonderful adventures.

Seriously. This is my plan.
posted by quin at 7:53 PM on March 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


quin, see my link a couple of comments north.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:08 PM on March 13, 2008


God damn you zinger.
posted by Wonderwoman at 8:14 PM on March 13, 2008


Awesome and beautiful.
posted by orthogonality at 8:40 PM on March 13, 2008


oblio_one writes "Hexapod? Sometimes using words most people have heard and can visualize is more important then technical accuracy or brevity. Spell check says hexapod isn't actually a word anyway."

Huh? You can visualize it very easily: "hexa" means six, "pod" means foot. Six footed. Two interlaced tripods.
posted by orthogonality at 8:44 PM on March 13, 2008


Lacey Tripods?

Robot porn alert!
posted by Brockles at 8:50 PM on March 13, 2008


You're right orthogonality. I can visualize easily. In my post I said 'most people.' It makes me sad that isn't also true as well.

Robotic spider makes me picture this more anyway, but whatever. I see your point, of course and apologize for the OP's advocate derail. Hexapod is a cool sounding (non)word
posted by oblio_one at 9:01 PM on March 13, 2008


I have mixed feelings here stavros; On the one hand, that was a fully fantastic spider car. But as six-or-six-thirty pointed out, the thing I'm liking about the little bot is the happy hand waving over a minor victory.

I think I need to combine the two.

Somehow though, I suspect that my efforts here will eventually lead to the apocalyptic destruction of humanity by cleverly articulated and weaponized spider-bots.

Sorry 'bout that.
posted by quin at 9:26 PM on March 13, 2008


Somehow though, I suspect that my efforts here will eventually lead to the apocalyptic destruction of humanity by cleverly articulated and weaponized spider-bots.

So, pretty much the ultimate green commuter vehicle.
posted by maxwelton at 12:49 AM on March 14, 2008


I'll take your spider, and give you a snake.
posted by eye of newt at 8:14 AM on March 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Could use a soundtrack, but the rHex hexapod robot is pretty capable... rock, woods, gravel, mud, water...
posted by anthill at 2:59 PM on March 14, 2008


More rHex movies
posted by anthill at 2:59 PM on March 14, 2008


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