While we'd chew our right arms off for a hexapod tank, an octopod tank would be, like, roughly 40 times more exciting. And although we've never seen one outside of fiction, Robugtix has something nearly as good.
The T8 octopod robot is modeled after a real tarantula, and the way it moves is startlingly realistic -- an effect that's amplified by its high-resolution 3D-printed shell, which conceals the robotics inside.
Each T8 moves with the help of 26 Hitec HS-35HD servo motors -- three in each leg and two to move the body -- and is pre-programmed using Robugtix's Bigfoot Inverse Kinematics Engine, which handles the calculations for factors like trajectory planning and gait and motor control. All the operator has to do is press buttons on the controller, which communicates with the robot via an XBee radio module.
More advanced users, of course, can try programming their own sequences into the robot.
The T8 is only available for preorder at the moment for an early-bird price of $1,350, shipping September 30. The price reverts to $1,500 on September 1. Either way, buyers still have to purchase additional pieces. The controller on its own costs $35, while the controller with two XBee modules is $85. Nor are batteries included; the robot requires a 4.8V NiMH rechargeable battery pack to run.
It's an impressively spooky little critter, though. Check it out in the video below.