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This Silly Little Robot Thinks It's Spider-Man

This Silly Little Robot Thinks It's Spider-Man


You probably haven't heard of him, but Spider-Man is a comic book superhero. After a radioactive spider bites him, Peter Parker gains handful of well-known spidery superpowers.

Those include precognition and regeneration abilities — just like a real spider! But Spider-Man also constructed his own tools, like his famous web-shooters. Adam Beedle's Spiderbot robot may not have any biological superpowers, but it can swing around like Spidey does on his webs.

At first glance, this looks like your regular, everyday turtle-style robot, like the kind that you get in a "my first robot" kit. But those don't do much more than follow lines and Spiderbot is so much more.

It is a completely custom design with a neat trick up its sleeve: the ability to fire a grappling hook and then swing from that, before releasing the cord so it can fling itself at ne'er-do-wells or hard-to-reach floors. It is adorable, but still very impressive to see in action.

Beedle 3D-printed the robot's frame and mechanical parts on an Ender 3. An Arduino Uno board controls the robot's drive motors, as well as the servo motors that Beedle can use to aim the grappling hook launcher, fire the grappling hook, and release the cable. That cable is thin Kevlar thread, which is strong enough to hold up to the weight of the swinging robot.

The thread is on a spool attached to another servo motor, so Spiderbot can pull the thread taut before it starts swinging. The firing mechanism is spring-loaded, meaning it can only fire once before Beedle needs to arm it again. But that's a small price to pay for such an awesome robot superpower.

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