The next new Christmas toy craze has arrived—on eight legs.
Inventor Jaimie Mantzel just completed work on a remote-controlled spider robot toy that shoots darts, ping pong balls, and discs.
In a YouTube video posted Thursday, Mantzel shows the battle robot in action, wearing small pieces of battle armor on its legs that snap off when hit.
“I’m pretty psyched because this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a wee little lad, and perused the toy store to find loads of poop,” Mantzel wrote in the video description. “It’s been literally an epic journey, and I’m exhausted, but almost to the finish line.”
The video has been stuck at 302 views, a well-reported bug that indicates the number of views rose so rapidly that YouTube’s servers couldn’t keep up. That’s largely thanks to a front-page Reddit post, which has collected more than 720 comments from people praising Mantzel for his ingenuity and passion.
“Somebody get this guy on TED,” commented arghnard.
While redditors were thrilled to see the small crawling robots, some users couldn’t help but wonder how Mantzel’s life-sized spider robot was coming.
Over the last two years, Mantzel has been creating a huge robot in the woods of South Royalton, VT., out of recycled aluminum and scrap. According to Mantzel’s website, it looks like the project has been put on hold until more funds are raised, but that hasn’t stopped redditors from getting inspired.
“I wish I were half the man this guy is,” commented DarkSideOfOZ. “Jaime, he’s fucking dedicated; and his motivation shows in these videos in incredible proportions. It shows that even when he can’t McGuyver a problem, he’s willing to get his hand all up in it’s shit and get it done the hard way if need be.”
In the meantime, Mantzel is working with British toy creator Wow! Stuff to get the remote-controlled robots on shelves soon.