The Mantis Walking MachineKyle Maxey
posted on April 03, 2013 |
Over the past four years, Matt Denton and a small team have slowly been putting together one of every nerd’s fondest dreams – the Mantis, a fully-functional robotic walking machine.
Pronounced "the biggest, all-terrain operational hexapod robot in the world" the Mantis stands 2.8 meters tall and weighs in at 1,700 kilograms. The menacing-looking mech runs on a Perkins 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine, and is supported by 6 hydraulically powered legs.
To control the Mantis, Denton and his team use two PCs, one running Linux and HexEngine – the software that control the 18 hydraulic actuators in the Mantis’s legs – while the other runs Windows CE and provides the operator interface.
According to Matt Denton, “This walking machine started as an idea back in 2007, we secured private funding in 2009 to start the project and – after three years of design, building and testing – the robot made a first successful test drive in the summer of 2012 at Bestival UK.”
Already considered a design classic and inspiration to the next generation of engineers by some, the Mantis is a testament to inspired creativity and engineering execution.
If you’d like to give the Mantis a spin then you’re in luck – the mech is available for “private hire, custom commissions, events and sponsorship.” No word yet on how much a private hire might cost, but I suspect many a movie studio will be giving Mr. Denton a call very soon.
Watch a Video of the Mantis in Action
Images and Video Courtesy of MicroMagic Systems