Arachnophobes look away now, because the iC Hexapod spider robot is coming to get you! Okay, so it's not strictly a spider -- it has six legs instead of eight, hence the hexapod name, and it's not nearly hairy enough -- but having recently met one in the
flesh person metal, we can tell you it's still pretty creepy.
The iC Hexapod has a neck on to which a variety of heads, such as a pan, a pan and tilt or a claw, can be attached. In 'iC' form it comes with a vision system, which constantly looks for human faces. When it spots one, it locks on to that face, tracks its movement and takes pictures, which can then be saved to a computer (if attached) and uploaded to the Internet.
When it's not staring at strangers and publishing their mugs to the Web, Hexapod is busy scrambling around at the behest of its owner. Movement is silky smooth and eerily realistic. Its six legs are controlled by three servo motors each, granting it 18 degrees of movement, and it can either be controlled via computer software or directly using a PlayStation controller.
The iC Hexapod MSR-H101 will be on show this weekend, 13 and 14 March, at the Maker Faire in Newcastle as part of Newcastle ScienceFest. Pop along to see it for yourself, watch the video below or head over to its Web site at hexapodrobot.com to order a build-it-yourself kit now.