Skip to main content

This six-legged spider drone can crawl into places quadcopters can’t reach

When you hear the word “drone,” your mind probably conjures up images of quadcopters and other UAVs — but despite the fact that the word has become more or less synonymous with “airborne robot,” the term doesn’t exclusively refer to robots that can fly. Sure, flying drones tend to get all the attention these days, but as autonomous robotics technology continues to advance, drones are increasingly making their way onto land and sea as well.

Case in point? This awesome six-legged spider drone from Spanish upstart Erle Robotics. Rather than patrolling the skies and giving you a bird’s-eye view of the world, this beast scuttles along the ground and lets you to explore places that would typically be of reach for an airborne drone.

Related Videos

It’s certainly not the first land-bound drone that’s ever been invented, but Erle-Spider does have a few things going for it that other drones don’t — the first and most obvious of which is its six legs. By walking around instead of rolling on wheels, the drone can scramble over more complex and varied terrain without getting stuck.


It can also carry a lot more tech. Not bound by the same weight restrictions that airborne UAVs have, Erle Robotics packed some serious computing power into the spider. The bot hauls around what the creators call the “Erle Brain 2” — a Linux-based onboard computer that sports a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7, 1 GB RAM, and a dizzying array of sensors (gravity sensor, gyroscope, digital compass, pressure sensor, and temperature sensor).

With all this sensing and processign power at its disposal, the Erle-Spider can perform all kinds of nifty stunts — such as walking around and autonomously avoiding obstacles, or using computer vision to navigate new environments. And of course, because Erle Robotics has also created a software development kit for the bot, it can be programmed to do just about anything you want — except flying, of course.

The Erle-Spider isn’t quite ready for prime time yet, but it’s creators have recently turned to the crowdfunding community on Indiegogo for help with production costs, so you can lock one down for a pledge of about $400 to $570 (depending on the configuration you choose). Barring any major setbacks during manufacturing, Erle Robotics expects to have its spider bots ready and shipped out by December.

Editors' Recommendations

Indiegogo now offers a marketplace where you can buy its coolest stuff
indiegogo marketplace online store shopping

Indiegogo has helped launch thousands of products over its nine-year history, and now the crowdfunding site is offering a helping hand to creators keen to find a market for their finished work.

Called Marketplace, the new section of Indiegogo's site does what it says on the tin, acting as a place for entrepreneurs to sell their goods. While Indiegogo creators can automatically have their products placed in the new ecommerce section, startups that built their product outside of the crowdfunding site can also submit their work to Indiegogo for consideration.

Read more
Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: 8K VR, smoke-free fires, a drone for your home
awesome tech new crowdfunding projects pimax biolite arduboy firepit home hero v2

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the Web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there – alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the Pebble clones and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. That said, keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.
Pimax -- 8K VR headset

VR headsets have come a long way in the past few years. Ever since the Oculus Rift reignited the world's enthusiasm for virtual reality, tech companies have been in an arms race to develop better and better headsets. Today, VR enthusiasts have a smorgasbord of different options to choose from -- everything from the accessible and affordable Samsung Gear VR, all the way up to the industry-leading HTC Vive. But in many ways, the competition is just starting to heat up -- especially now that Pimax's much-hyped 8K headset has landed on Kickstarter.

Read more
Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Robo friends for Fido, a smart motorcycle helmet
Best new Kickstarter and Indiegogo Projects

At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion crowdfunding campaigns on the web. Take a visual stroll through the best new Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects, and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there -- alongside some real gems. In this column, we cut through all the worthless wearables and Oculus Rift ripoffs to round up the week’s most unusual, ambitious, and exciting projects. But don’t grab your wallet just yet. Keep in mind that any crowdfunded project can fail -- even the most well-intentioned. Do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.
Anthouse Pet Companion Robot


Read more