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Giant Robot Spider helps save lives – No, it’s not a movie!

A German research institute has found an incredible use for the creepy-crawly most likely to instill the deepest phobia in many of us, the humble spider. Using cutting edge 3D printing processes the Manufacturing Engineering and Automation Division of The Fraunhofer Society has created a giant mechanical bug with the intention of using the creation’s multiple limbs in helping rescue crews and relief efforts following natural disasters or industrial accidents.

The multi-limbed multi-jointed prototype bug-bot is 20-centimetres in length and is sculpted in a cheaply available synthetic and flexible material using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) – a 3D printing process. The creature features 8 legs powered by a hydraulic system replacing and replicating the internal pressure fluids which allows a Spider to push off from its legs. This robotic creation, however, is very alien-like compared to our unwelcome bathroom friends, resembling something from a sci-fi B-movie.


Frighteningly this thing can also jump. Just imagine this being the first thing you see after your town’s suffered an earthquake – War of the Worlds, anybody!

But just like its real-life counterpart can scurry around in the deepest darkest crevices – places where humans can’t go – to potentially record information and video or deliver supplies and crucial aide and most importantly avoid further human risk.

Because the process and materials used are so cheap, the researchers at Fraunhofer say that the spiders can be mass produced very easily and quickly meaning that they can be tossed away after just one use.

So remember – Next time you squish that bug in the bathroom, one could be saving your life one day!


In other frightening robot news a company in Japan called Cyberdyne is working on a robotic limb system called “Hal”. If either of those names ring any bells you may want to check out the Gadget Helpline’s coverage of this story – Here.

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