Whatever you call it, there’s no denying that this is a mind-blowing build. It reminds us of those sci-fi movies where walking pods seem to be the vehicle of choice for alien invaders.
Thankfully, not only Matt’s hexapod isn’t ominous, but it is also rather slow. It walks at a leisurely pace of just 1 km/h (or 0.6 mph) and no, it can’t go around crushing cars. The photos are just for dramatic effect. So, we are safe for now.
The 1.9 tons (4,188 lbs) hexapod is powered by a 2.2L Perkins turbo diesel engine which, through a complex network of hydraulics, enables this mechanical beast to walk. It has 18 degrees of freedom, controlled by two 3-axis joysticks and 28 buttons. A Linux PC is the ‘brain’ that translates the user’s inputs into legs movements.
Originally conceived for underwater exploration funded by a company, the hexapod concept was dropped. But Denton, being the guy that he is, continued on with the project. It took Matt three years to build and along the way, upgrades were introduced. In fact, this was the second version.
In 2017, Wickham, Hampshire-based Matt Denton’s Mantis Robot was recognized by Guinness World Records as the Largest Rideable Hexapod Robot.
If you are interested, there’s a video below in which Matt talked in details about his rideable robotic creation.