The Bipedal Exo-Skeletal Robotic Vehicle
July 15, 2005 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Buy your own fully functional Bipedal Exo-Skeletal Semi-Robotic Vehicle—or Mech—courtesy of Neogentronyx.
posted by jenleigh (19 comments total)

Come on, there has to be a better acronym than that.
posted by odinsdream at 12:39 PM on July 15, 2005

I'm gonna wait. The next model is supposed to have flamethrowers.
posted by warbaby at 12:45 PM on July 15, 2005

i remember this... this guy's been working on this for a while now. maybe that $40K will let him finish it? and start a new one?
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 12:50 PM on July 15, 2005

"This Machine is to me, what the 'Wright Flyer' was to the Wright Brothers, or the model-T the Henry Ford, I don't want to part with it, however to keep this project going and getting into the next stages of developement, it is necessary."

posted by coelecanth at 12:51 PM on July 15, 2005

posted by warbaby
heh, did you get that handle from william gibson? i'm at the end of that book now....
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 12:52 PM on July 15, 2005

You know, I knew a guy in Mass who worked for maintenance at a college. In his off time he had spent about 20k building a machine to automatically split firewood. It took up his whole yard. Awesome.
posted by OmieWise at 1:01 PM on July 15, 2005


Until it can fly and crush small cars, I just don't see the practicality of it.
posted by fenriq at 1:03 PM on July 15, 2005

TLL: Yeah, one of the villains in Virtual Light, but I was confused. I thought it was from Pynchon, but I was thinking of Terrence Overbaby, a wingman in Gravity's Rainbow. It just seemed fashionable at the time I started my blog to have a pen name, so I thought, "why not?" I was born at the tail end of the baby boom. Which makes me older than quansar...
*mumbles, tries to remember where the Geritol is*
posted by warbaby at 1:09 PM on July 15, 2005

Every time I see a bipedal robot, real or imagined, I wonder--why bipedal? It's inherently unstable, there are so many more options and yet we pick the one closest to us, and the worst IMHO. God complex?
posted by m@ at 1:16 PM on July 15, 2005

warbaby, it has flamethrowers! get your checkbook!
posted by killy willy at 1:16 PM on July 15, 2005

Videos here
posted by Who_Am_I at 1:31 PM on July 15, 2005

The Mech? The Merch.
posted by sbutler at 1:37 PM on July 15, 2005

So, I watched a few of the videos, but I never saw the thing actually walk; I'd think that'd be a pretty important feature.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:24 PM on July 15, 2005

Heeey. That's not a real video. And why is it beating up on that poor car?


And then why is there suddenly a girl robot? Is he trying to make baby robots?
posted by loquacious at 2:31 PM on July 15, 2005

Something tells my cynical heart that the "never saw the thing actually walk" part is the main reason this mech is going on the auction block. If it could actually walk in any practical manner I'd think the guy could get enough money from doing appearances in it. A 20' robot walking up and down at a car dealership waving to the people going by would certainly be a head-turner.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:00 PM on July 15, 2005

"What's the point of having a giant robot if you can't blow stuff up with it? Seriously..."

All (ok, most. oh, ok, not really any) poking fun iside I wanted to build an exoskeleton when I was a kid as well. I wanted carbon-composite limbs, bones layered up in amorphous, knit-bone-like stacks. Titanium joints. A reactive control and crude tactile feedback harness. Active kevlar-ceramic armor layered, scaled and skinned on the exoskeleton like a full suit of late middle-age metal armor. I wanted to use pneumatics instead of hydraulics, because it's lighter and faster. An array of laser gyros and avionics. (Cheap MEMS accelerometers were'nt available yet.) A sealed life support system. More.

I never got past simple sketches, much less doing the engineering, logistics or financial math.

That being said, at least he's building *something*. It's obviously not that well engineered. It looks more eyeballed and seat of the pants then anything. But he's building it.

However, I wish he wouldn't appear to take himself so seriously, and would be more humble and self effacing about his limitations. People would probably take him more seriously if he was a bit less snake-oil or vaporware sounding about it.

Wright Brothers? Nah. More like all those nuts that built almost-flying machines and almost or completely died and paved the way for the Wrights.

I would not want to be in that open cage of hydraulic hoses. One cut or kinked hose and you'd get cut up with hot, high pressure oil.
posted by loquacious at 3:02 PM on July 15, 2005

Yeah m@, you have a good point. I guess computers (or maybe even biocomputers - use rat neurons or something, give it some glucose in addition to e-) aren't good enough yet to do the feedback to make bipedal movement practical for something that big.

What would you suggest as an interim measure, though? Big arsed tires with optional VTOL? One of the advantages of bipedal is the flexibility.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:31 PM on July 15, 2005

PurplePorpoise, why big wheels?

One could imagine a fairly sizeable dimpled rubberized metal ball with the drive inside, able to roll in all directions, to which a superstructure would (perhas magnetically) be attached (with distancing balls or cylinders rolling against the drive ball), gyro-balanced so it would not topple. The superstructure could hold the driver and/or weapons/utility systems.

Any other ideas before we get the one-foot balancing act working?
posted by Laotic at 2:23 AM on July 16, 2005

Every time I see a bipedal robot, real or imagined, I wonder--why bipedal? It's inherently unstable, there are so many more options and yet we pick the one closest to us, and the worst IMHO. God complex?

Because they look cool.

Any other ideas before we get the one-foot balancing act working?

What's wrong with tracks and a turret?
posted by lazy-ville at 5:46 AM on July 17, 2005

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