This tarantula robot is frightening and, perhaps, useful

Commentary: The creators of the spiderlike HEXA robot say that it can be turned by developers into anything they wish. Oh.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

 Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Friendly? Or just a little creepy?

Vincross/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Please, I understand that the world is changing and technology is at the forefront of that change.

I wonder, though, how we'll all feel with giant tarantulas constantly roaming our neighborhoods. 

Yes, they'll be quieter than Amazon's drones. But, well, robot tarantulas. Or, more precisely, the new HEXA robot.

I know that tarantulas have eight legs and the HEXA only has six. But look at it crawling around and tell me that you don't know at least one person who, on seeing this, will scream without cessation. 

The thing about this creepy-crawly is that it's less a gadget for the sheer nerdy fun of it and more of a platform. 

Its creators at Beijing-based Vincross say in their YouTube video that this phone-controlled, maneuverable spider is "an all-terrain robot for the real world."

They insist that it's easily programmable, so that developers can make it do whatever they want, using the company's standard developer kit. 

The company's website quite literally claims that a human and a HEXA represent "the dream team."

Or, if you've never seen one crawling around before, a nightmare scenario.

Currently, Vincross has launched a Kickstarter campaign, whose purpose seems to be to market the product, rather than merely raise the relatively modest sum of $100,000. 

Of course, should the HEXA -- which retails at $549 -- deliver on its claims, one can imagine it being used to enter dangerous areas where humans fear to tread. Such as, the site claims, finding life on Mars.

I can't help thinking, however, that there will be some developers who will take a look at HEXA and think they can create, say, a robot that crawls around and hums Rick Astley tunes. 

Or, perhaps, a robot that crawls into your bedroom, crawls up your bed, crawls along your body, arrives next to your sleeping face and then hums Rick Astley tunes.

It's Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet?

CNET en Español: Get all your tech news and reviews in Spanish.