Morphing hexapod has us drooling


Hexapod robots seem to be a dime a dozen lately, but we think you will be hard pressed to not be wowed by [Zenta’s] latest creation. He’s built a bunch of hex and octopods before, but hasn’t tried building anything quite like this.

His MorpHex bot might look like your standard hexapod, but once it gets moving, you can see that it’s quite unique. Utilizing over 25 servos driven by a single ARC-32 controller, MorpHex moves in smooth, fluid-like motions, making it almost seem like it’s alive. The inner portion of the body can fan out, extending the overall length of the bot, though it’s more meant to allow the bot to morph into a ball and back, rather than increase its size.

In the teaser video below, you can see MorpHex in action, with its parts flowing together more like a jellyfish than any sort of land animal. While [Zenta] is continuing to work on MorpHex’s sphere-morphing capabilities, we think it would make for an awesome and creepy spiderbot!

[Thanks, weaz]


  1. Acid_Density says:

    Finally the platform to allow me to take over the world!… Well, at least my back yard anyway. I’ll take two.

  2. tomas says:

    from the picture, I expected the robot to morph into a sphere and roll away… that would be super-creepy.

  3. Mike says:

    That is awesome. Very fluid.

  4. g5pw says:

    Wow! Astonishing…. Great work! Also, +1 for the spiderbot!

  5. Max says:

    This is pretty impressive. The fanning out could be used to make forward movement more effective though. I would also look a lot cooler. I can’t wait to see this finished.

    • Max says:

      Never mind what I said about that it could be made to look cooler. I’ve taken a look at the pictures on his site, and there’s no way my opinion has any weight against those. This thing is so incredibly cool.

  6. Stevie says:

    That’s creepily similar to an animals movements!

  7. raidscsi says:

    Site down? Youtube video was cool.

  8. Imi Votteler says:

    The line Utilizing over 25 servos made me smile. How many then, 26?

  9. Rhoads says:

    Congrats Hack a day, you just kill the poor guy´s server lol

  10. dan says:

    very, very cool

  11. Max Allan says:

    Part of me is going “cool” and another part is going “argh, quick poke it with a broom, flatten it with a book, make it go away”

    (Arachnaphobia is apparently hereditary. The people who survived in the past were the people who ran away from the big hairy spiders, not the ones who picked them up and got bitten.)

  12. Kyle says:

    …And others survived because they picked them up and ate them.

    Very nice bot!

    • Paul says:

      They taste quite bitter! Granted, I’ve never tried tarantula… hear that it’s better.

      I wonder how awesome this bot will be once both halves are finished.

      hmm…Will there be a second set of legs,inverted?
      Or it could have a hemispheric ‘hat’ that lowers onto the bottom as it contracts to complete the sphere.

      Considering the other projects on his site, this one is far from finished and it’s already an amazing build.

  13. Tod says:

    Wow. The movement of this bot is really … BEAUTIFUL … FLUID … GRACEFUL.

    This is probably one of the most amazing demos I’ve ever seen. Good luck on completing this. I want one too!!!

  14. Wow we wow wow!

  15. David says:

    wow.. that’s just creepy
    first thing I thought was with the “eggshell” from the picture wrap the bot in nylon and add googly eyes, it really would seem.. alive!

    not that it isn’t close already

  16. Will says:

    I love the photos on his website where the sphere pieces are made from a globe. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “The world is out to get me!” Hide this on a desk as a normal globe and then have it transform and chase someone. Good scene for a movie…

  17. Renet123 says:

    i see a star wars destroyer droid in the making.. rolls in, takes a stance.. starts shooting.. YOU know the scene..

  18. Andy says:

    It’s.. It’s beautiful!

  19. Oscar says:

    What I see is how this robot can also be used to fight battles in the real world. Just like the radio Controlled Traxxas that saved six lives in Afghanistan, it can seek out threats (bombs).

  20. NiccoHel says:

    Needs more legs. I’ve got a fever… and the only prescription, is more legs! That thing is frickin’ awesome. Why isn’t this guy working with NASA? Oh, wait, why isn’t this guy working with ESA? Or something?

    Ooh, ooh, ooh, mate it to one of those quadrocopters for aerial awesome-sauce!

    Somebody hire this guy to build big versions of that thing already!

  21. o says:

    The only way to kill it is to wait until the panels unfold and shoot it between the gaps.

  22. brad says:


    also creepy. very creepy.

  23. Kavius says:

    Very cool. I keep envisioning automated surveillance of my property, but when the coyote comes to take a look, it just “turtles”… I want!

  24. Robert says:

    Incredible! This is probably the best “walking” robot I’ve seen on this site. Excellent work.

    On a more lighthearted note, imagine that in Half-Life 3 (yeah right) with a big turret on top.

  25. Spork says:

    Did no one else watch this and think “wow, how cool would that be 10x bigger?”

    I love the fluidity in the movement and the range of motion. Looks like this robot would be able to traverse rough terrain.

    So who wants to help me build the giant version?

  26. Matt says:


  27. scienceguy8 says:

    I recently started playing Quake 4 not too long ago. Didn’t I destroy this thing already? Where’s my walking tank?

  28. Jason says:

    I’ve been scanning the hackaday website for almost a year and this is the first thing I’ve seen that’s compelled me to write a comment.

    Dear Designer. I’m certain you are holding this project near and dear to your heart, but this is honestly the coolest thing I have ever seen. I would LOVE to be able to build this myself. Is it possible for you to one day post the plans for us DIYers to try our hand?

    Make it public domain?

    Very very very cool.

    Thanks for sharing. Please keep us posted.

  29. default says:

    Simply gorgeous! I anxiously anticipate a full demo video!

  30. bob says:

    A vastly over-used word, but… awesome!

  31. SpiralBrain says:

    I Likes it!

  32. Dan Fruzzetti says:

    We love you, Samus! Maru Mari forever

  33. It would appear he has some other bots on his YouTube channel!

  34. says:

    All it needs is a microphone so when you bang on the table next to it it pulls in tight and hides :P

  35. Richard says:

    That robot has some of the most beautifully fluid movements I’ve ever seen in a hexapod – kudos for a well-constructed mechanism, but also some very good programming too… superb result so far. :-)

  36. torwag says:

    This is art

  37. very nice i like the smooth movments exellent job

  38. j8g8j says:

    Beautiful… in an other-worldly sense.

  39. MadHatter says:

    The fluid movements get help from the ARC-32 board. The 32 bit math hardware lets it calculate the Inverse Kinematics on the fly.

  40. Wow, the movements and co-ordination is stunning! I would LOVE to have one of these!!

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