Giant Star Wars Like Mantis Robot
Posted: April 25, 2013 by Maja Johnson
After 4 years of work, Matt Denton, an animatronics specialist from the UK , created the world's largest mantis robot. Mr. Denton, an owner of a small animatronics company called MicroMagic, stated that he and his company have been creating miniature hexapod robots for the requirements of the film and television industries. This was the first time he had built a 3 meter robot that can be operated by a human inside the robot's cockpit.
The robot, mantis, is nearly 3 meters tall and weighs an amazing 1,900 kg. It is operated by a 2.2 liter turbo diesel motor that moves its 6 big hydraulic legs. It moves quite slowly, around 1.5 km/h, and spends 20 liters on 5 km. That's one thirsty robot! But "the idea behind the robot was to build something amazing and 'cool', not something economical", Mr. Denton said.
"The hardest part in building the robot was his legs". Great effort has to be put into the legs because the moment is complex. Specially designed software HexEngine, run by Linux PC, does all the processing required to move the 6 legs. The robot has a total of 18 hydraulic actuators that move the legs while the software keeps all of them in sync.
Designing and building this robot did not come cheap or easy. Denton said that over the past four years, the robot had cost him a small fortune in hundreds of thousands of pounds. However, he believes that all his efforts and money will be well spent. Many marine research companies and mining companies have already shown great interest.