Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Finally, a giant hexapod tank you can drive

Inventor Matt Denton has built a fully operational hexapod robot that you can drive around. Yet another reason to be careful on the roads these days, folks.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
Mantis Walking Machine

We've decided: Cars are nonsense. Who needs cars? Matt Denton's Mantis hexapod robot clearly represents the transportation of the future.

Denton, an animatronics and special-effects designer whose portfolio includes "Prometheus" and "Lost in Space" with company Micromagic Systems, has an interest in hexapods that goes way back. Over the years, he has built a few miniature hexapods at Micromagic.

Mantis is his first giant-sized model, the result of four years of research, development, design, and building, and is, Denton claims, the biggest operational hexapod in the world. The thing comes in at 9.2 feet tall, weighing 2 tons. It's powered by a 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine and is designed to take on any terrain.

Mantis can be remote controlled via Wi-Fi, but why would you want to do that when you can climb into the cockpit and pilot it firsthand?

Admittedly, it moves a little slowly, and probably couldn't actually take on Big Dog (especially if there are any cinder blocks nearby), but it's early days for pilotable hexapod tanks.

According to the Mantis Web site, the hexapod is available for private hire, custom commissions, events, and sponsorship. Like Stompy, the Kickstarter hexapod robot, Mantis is not intended for general sale.

Nevertheless, we're eagerly awaiting the day when we can drive one of these babies to work.

(Source: Crave Australia via Gizmag)