Robugtix has been hard at work fulfilling orders for its T8 tarantula robot that debuted earlier this year, as well as showing off its lifelike motion engine in a new video. Now the company has also announced a much cheaper version of the robot called the T8X which can be pre-ordered for a fraction of the cost of the original.
The original T8's early-bird price (US$1,350) is no longer available, so if you want to buy one today it will cost you a staggering $2950. Realizing this may be a bit too steep for the masses, Robugtix is wisely fast-tracking a cheaper option called the T8X. Due to ship in June 2014, the T8X will cost $799, and if you pre-order anytime before January 1st 2014, you can score one for $499.
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A big part of the T8's charm is its lifelike appearance. Its form-fitting exoskeleton was designed using CAD software and manufactured using a 3D printer. While 3D printing is great for prototyping and for small batches of parts, the lengthy printing process can also backfire, leading to production bottlenecks. Therefore the T8X ditches the T8's 3D printed exoskeleton in favor of cheaper injection-molded plastic parts, which was key to reducing its price. In addition, it switches out the wireless XBee communication in favor of the more popular Wi-Fi, and comes newly equipped with touch sensors and a built-in charging system.
Otherwise the two models are virtually identical, powered by a total of 26 servo motors all controlled by the Bigfoot Robotics Engine. The robots also come "nearly" fully assembled. This makes it easy to play with the robot right out of the box, since you won't have to put it together and individually program all the robot's joints to make it walk around. If tinkering is your kind of thing, you'll be glad to know the robot comes with Robutix's SDK.
Besides walking and turning on eight legs, the Bigfoot engine is equally adept at making the robot dance. Watch it shake its booty in the following video.