[Jaimie’s] Giant Hexapod Project

Warning, this may be a duplicate post. We all agree we’ve seen this before, but can’t find it in our archive. If it is, sorry. If it isn’t enjoy one of the most awesome projects we’ve seen in a long time.

Meet [Jaimie Mantzel] an eccentric, and very hyper, individual. He’s done many projects, but this one in particular stands out as being quite ambitious. [Jaimie] is building a giant hexapodal walker that he can ride in. Dubbed simply “Giant Robot”, the 12 foot tall and 18 foot wide robot began construction in 2007. This individual is so full of energy, you’ll get tired just watching his videos. We’ve included, below, his introduction video as well as the video where his giant robot takes its first steps. Note that there are 67 videos of the build process. Unfortunately, as of the last video in January 2011, the robot is unfinished.

Don’t worry though, we know [Jaimie] is still alive. We saw him recently coming up with cool toy ideas.

If this has left you with an insatiable craving for a video of a fully functional giant walking hexapod octopod, don’t forget about mondo spider.

[Thanks Kamil]



44 thoughts on “[Jaimie’s] Giant Hexapod Project

    1. The video where he shows drawings of how the walking mechanism works needs to be turned into a 3d model so we can start 3d printing our own spider robots. Who is up to this task of awesomeness?

      1. Nah, he’s definitely hooked up with the girl who’s been helping him with the project along the way… She’s in a few of the videos. They have a kid now which I think is the reason he hasn’t been making any more progress on the robot. Hopefully they’ll be able to get back to this soon. He’s a bit of a mad scientist genius.

      2. I’ve been following his videos for a long time.

        He owns land in vermont (I think) where he has a dome building and a girlfriend who is a mother to their daughter. He lives off the grid, and when he needs something (a saw mill, a road) he builds it. Often while wearing 50+ pounds of chain mail. He’s a machine.

        It gets too cold there to stay there during winters, so he tries to leave for it. This year it was to england.

        He recently got contracted by a toy maker in the UK to build his robots on a smaller scale (complete with neat weapons and sensors).. he fought hard to not compromise the cool/fun aspects while making it a retail product.

  1. The guys at Artisan’s Asylum (a hackerspace in Boston) are also building a giant rideable “spider” robot, named Stompy. They’re funding the project by letting hackerspace users enroll in a “class” to help design and build it.

    These guys are serious roboticists and come from places like Boston Dynamics (makers of BigDog and PETMAN), Barrett Technology (WAM arm), and DEKA (of segway fame).

    The final robot will be 2500+ lbs, stand taller than a car, and be powered by a 135 HP propane generator (from a forklift). It’s pretty cool. I had a chance to interview Artisan’s CEO, Gui Cavalcanti about it just recently:


  2. Interesting coincidence, I have just got through all 60-odd videos, it was… interesting… but imagine my disappointment when I got to the end and realised he had stopped work on it – serves me right I suppose for not opting for the spoiler…

  3. Wait wait wait. I haven’t even gone through two minutes of video and this guy has done this progression
    1. built little sweet rc robot
    2. decided he wants to make a huge one
    3. bought a generator for off grid welder
    4. bought a grand of welding equipment
    5. got a roommate, presumably because of the expenses
    6. didn’t have room because of roommate, so he is building a huge workshop out of processed logs
    7. because of log based workshop build he built a mini lumber mill

    I..I don’t even. He really did all the things. But also accidentally the whole video.

    Hopefully my thoughts have been stated in a way that both the readers and he can understand.

      1. Awesome. Wish I checked back sooner. This guy is impossibly ambitious but he gets it done. Quite an inspiration..though I fear my aspirations are leaning towards madness.

  4. Oh man, I remember this guy. It’s so awesome to see someone just deciding to do something completely outlandish (like, I’m going to go live off the grid AND build a giant walking robot) and then actually doing it. He seems like he’s so happy all the time, even when things aren’t going quite right with his projects.

  5. This is the guy that was ripped off by the Hexpod people (not to mention the Bristlebot…)

    If you were thinking about buying a Hexpod for hacking or whatever, don’t. Wait for this one instead and support the inventor!

  6. Don’t robots have to be autonomous to be considered robots? /s

    Nah, I’m just being a jerk on the internet (it’s so much fun).

    This guy is awesome and so is his “robot”!

  7. Just here to comment on the search feature at Hackaday…. it blows. Every time I try to “search” for that great project I know I saw weeks ago, I just can’t find it with your search tool. I’m just say’in. Have you people tried Google’s site search feature?

      1. I posted this as a comment by itself, but I just wanted to make sure you knew this, you posted Jamie in your post about his method of 3d printing that involved adding holes everywhere and his method of splitting the bottom layer into pieces so it wouldnt warp as much.

  8. I remember him from a couple of years ago, there was a video on hackaday where he was in his geodesic domed lab testing the leg mechanism for his hexapod
    too cool

  9. That’s pretty cool… seems like he’s living his dream, something I certainly am not doing :(

    Try to stay level dude, don’t burn out… and keep your stick on the ice and such.

  10. Been watching him since last year, and he hasn’t stopped working on his giant robot because he lost interest in it, he’s been on business trips of late for the toy robot and also because the hanger he was building the robot in, collapsed on it, so the thing holding the hanger up, was the giant robot. Also check out his “Zero to Invention… in 36 years” video.

  11. What happens when the band on that “log saw” busts? (I guess that didn’t happen and I should be so lucky.)

    Despite it all, for what I can tell, he’s still in one piece.

    I’ve seen how guys in the Philippines, entirely out in the bush, make .45s and their operations are precious little more than a drill press (lots and lots of drilling) and files (lots and lots of filing), but even they have vises and C-clamps. Why get a hammer when there’s an electrician’s pliers at hand?
    His are not the ways of the union sheet-metal workers.

    [Back away from my toolbox, J-Man; you’re not making guide pins from coat-hangers with my flush cutters.]

  12. Tip for younger players: Don’t attempt to make structures out of welded aluminium (that you are going to trust your life to) if you can’t already weld steel to a standard that is objectively excellent. Welding Aluminium is MUCH harder to get right than steel.

    I love his attitude (paraphrased): “don’t listen to that bunch of can’ts”

  13. Consider placing a water drip dribbling water onto the blade just before it enters the cut to help lubricate the blade; I think you’ll find the cut goes smoother and faster.

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