I know. It's just a remote control spider, right? Fun for 5 minutes' worth of scaring Grandma, but otherwise unremarkable. And $499? Is that a joke?
In answer to both questions, No. No it's not. And in terms of the cost, that's even a pre-order price. If you don't grab your T8X by January 15, 2014, the number increases to $749. So what the Full House, starring Bob Saget and the Olsen twins? What's so special about this spider?
Did you watch it do the rumba yet? Go ahead. Play the video. Sound off is fine. Watch the articulation of every leg. Of every leg joint and the back segment of its body. The T8X isn't any RC spider. It's an RC spider built around a completely embedded Bigfoot Robotics Engine. The engine has been fashioned to handle all complex math calculations necessary for controlling this type of multi-legged walking robot without making it look like...a stiff multi-legged walking robot.
T8X users need only send short, simple commands via their remotes to achieve the types of results depicted in the video. For example, instruct the spider to walk forward at an indicated speed, and the Bigfoot will automatically enact details such as inverse kinematics, leg trajectory planning, leg gait coordination, and motor control. It's a highly advanced system made accessible for anyone to manipulate.
T8X is also WiFi-enabled, further expanding its range and possibilities.
The T8X is a alternate version of the original T8 spider robot. Each of the latter is individually 3D printed, and rings in at nearly $3,000. The T8X's "mass production" price reflects a move to high volume manufacturing methods over 3D printing. Maker Robugtix promises the injection molding subbing in for the printing method will still produce smooth, high quality, durable spider parts. And presumably equally captivating rumbas.
Pre-orderers are slated to receive delivery of their robotic spider in June 2014.
Muchas danke to Toby G. for the Dude Product Tip.