CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

'MythBusters' host races spider robots in new webseries

In "Jamie's Racing Spiders," a robot racing spider is built from the ground up, with the help of Evernote and movie prop experts at Kernerworks.

When "MythBusters" hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage aren't demolishing buildings and blowing up toilets in the name of science for their reality show on Discovery Channel, they're test flying quadcopters and touring Savage's movie prop-filled man cave on Tested.com.

In a new Tested.com series, Hyneman builds racing robot spiders, with the help of productivity software Evernote.

Evernote approached Hyneman and Savage to offer support for any project the duo wanted to tackle. The first thing that came to mind was "to build big spiders that would be super fast and use a tendon-like system to pull the legs around," Hyneman told Crave.

"I would use synthetic fibers that were ultra light but stronger than steel, and guide them with pulleys -- lots of pulleys," Hyneman added. "With cables and pulleys you can lift tremendous weights. While we did not need to move lots of weight in this case, I figured that the loads on pulling something like a leg around really fast can be huge, and break normal mechanical things."

While Hyneman designed the robotic spiders, he didn't have the time to build them due to a pending speaking tour in Australia with Savage. So he enlisted the help of the former Industrial Light & Magic model shop called Kernerworks and used Evernote to manage the project.

The first episode of "Jamie's Racing Spiders," Hyneman reveals that his ultimate goal is to make giant racing robot spiders people can ride.

robotspider3.jpg
At Kernerworks, Hyneman shows the team his designs for a racing robot spider. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

"The project I took to Kernerworks is actually just the first step in a larger, grander plan that I have of scaling one of these things up to such a degree that you could actually ride on them -- very fast, very large spiders," Hyneman said in the video.

"The large mechanical spiders I've seen have always been massive hydraulic-like devices that are too heavy to move fast," Hyneman added. "My design avoided this by using light-weight, high-strength lines in place of mechanical linkages. And it used carbon-fiber tubes for legs."

He also told Crave: "Through our back and forth, we documented the whole process of building the spiders, because this kind of thing is all about the process. You don't really need racing spiders, but trying to make them can be really rewarding. We wanted to show that, and thanks to Evernote, I think we succeeded."

In addition to the videos, fans can follow along with the project's progress on Evernote's site to see many of Hyneman's original build notes and sketches.

The latest episodes of the webseries will debut on Tuesdays for the next three weeks on the Tested Youtube Channel.