When the robots finally come to harvest us, they’ll probably descend from the skies and then scuttle, spider-like, into our homes and shelters, just like MadLab Industries‘ terrifyingly ominous Hexa. The combined horror of a six-bladed hexacopter and a 6-legged hexapod, the omnidirectional robot can either tackle terrain on-foot or take to the air to avoid obstacles, then using the multipurpose legs as a grapple to snatch up objects (objects that, it has to be said, are roughly the size of a human baby’s head in MLI’s demo video).
The DIY ‘bot pairs a PhantomX Hexapod kit and a custom MLI hexacopter, using carbon-fiber and aluminum components to keep the weight down. In total, the whole thing tips the scales at 10.8 pounds, and is strong enough to not only transport its own weight, but light objects it can grasp with its legs.
Possible future improvements could include the ability for the two sections to detach and be independently controlled, meaning Hexa could fly in, deposit the hexapod, and then fly back out again. That could eventually be useful for search & rescue operations, transporting Hexa-style hunting drones to a disaster area and then leaving them to rummage through the rubble for survivors.
The MLI team said back in December that, if demand was deemed sufficiently strong, it would consider Kickstarter for a Hexa kit. No word on what stage that project is up to, nor how much it might eventually cost.
Of course, right now there are human controllers in charge of Hexa, but AI research is doing its level best to cook up autonomous versions that are so ominous that even Google’s Eric Schmidt is calling for drone increased regulation. The situation is only likely to get more serious, however, with recent DARPA proposals suggesting potential funding for companies capable of delivering self-controlled flying gadgets.