Vagabond Works sure have some interesting home-made robots, and the Land Crawler eXtreme will line up as one of their coolest. It is a twelve-legged metallic bot that moves a lot like an insect of some sort (a centipede?) and is designed to carry a human that weighs up to 170 pounds. There is no complicated mechanism involved in this process, you simply step on top of its platform, and allow it to carry you around. Mind you, it doesn’t look like the safest of choices, as there is no real harness or any way to maintain your balance once on top the robot. Some surfing skills may be required to keep you from falling, but the guy in the video looks to be keeping his balance pretty well.
This robot was originally designed as a request from the creator’s son, which probably explains its simplicity. It is also very practical, and shows off its impressive movements in the beginning of the video (see the end of this post), especially when it doesn’t have a human to carry. Besides the before-mentioned scurrying of its legs, it doesn’t have any features designed to look like an insect, yet its biological-like gait is more than enough to give it a life-like spontaneity.
The Land Crawler eXtreme is operated by a simple battery-powered motor in its center, which is also where it receives the signals from the wireless joystick that commands it. It’s not exactly going to make headline news, but imagine the same robot ten times as big, carrying huge building blocks, or a helicopter on its back, and you’ll see the not-so distant future before your eyes. Sometimes size does matter, and may be the difference between a “toy” like the Land Crawler, and a true machine of the future.