Cow-Sized Plywood Spider Walker Shrieks Like Swarming Demon Horde

CNC & Machining
Cow-Sized Plywood Spider Walker Shrieks Like Swarming Demon Horde


Palo Alto resident Matthew Garten is a mechanical engineer in the User Experience Mobile Lab at the Samsung Research America campus in San Jose, and an instructor at TechShop Menlo Park. Garten made waves online back in 2010 with a stylish Arduino-based watch equipped with an OLED display.

Lately, Garten has been giving his CNC chops a workout designing, building, and refining a table-sized plywood mechanical spider walker based on the Klann linkage. Here are a series of four video tests he’s spliced together to show the development of the drive mechanism during prototyping:

YouTube player


WARNING: Arachnophobes and/or squeamish mechanics may experience mild to moderate nausea at the chorus of hellish squeals from the apparently unlubricated wooden joints. Garten plans to premiere the finished build, complete with remote control and onboard battery power, at the upcoming Bay Area Maker Faire 2014, by which time I fully expect his “Cyber Spider” to be gliding along rather more silently, like its biological ancestors. I’ll be curious to see if that makes it more or less creepy. If you’re going to be in northern California the weekend of the 17th, don’t miss the chance to come by and find out for yourself.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan


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