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A Giant Flying Robotic Spider: The End Is Nigh

 |  |  |  |  |  |  February 17, 2023

By hite

Because our scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they never stopped to think if they should; researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a giant flying robotic spider. Named SPIDAR (the all-too-obvious acronym for ‘SPherIcally vectorable and Distributed rotors assisted Air-ground amphibious quadruped Robot’), the four-legged beast can take to the skies thanks to a total of 16 thrusters on its legs. I’m definitely going to need a bigger can of Raid.

SPIDAR uses its thrusters to compensate for the weak servos in its legs (designed to help cut down on its weight), using the lift generated to help it move its leg segments freely without the full load of its own mass. Think of it like the time I tied a bunch of helium balloons around my waist to walk more easily.

The 33-pound SPIDAR is currently a prototype and gets about 9 minutes of flight time, or 18 minutes of walking, until its batteries die, and we can all breathe a little easier until it’s recharged. Then it’s back to holding our breath and hiding under our desks again.

[via Gizmodo]