Have you ever tried assembling a crawling robot that moves like a living creature? This might be the perfect project for all enthusiasts, hobbyists, and tinkerers that enjoy rolling up their sleeves and building devices that interact with the real world.
An Arduino spider is a robot that mimics spider movements, however, unlike living spiders with eight legs, it usually has only four legs which is why it is also called a quadruped robot.
In our buying guide, we’ll provide an overview of the top three Arduino spider robot kits so you have all of the information you need to know which one is best for you.
What makes the FREENOVE Hexapod Robot Kit so impressive is its agility. It can move, crawl, and twist like a living creature. Unlike many other spider robots, this one has six legs which makes it more rangy and expeditious.
Its motion is spectacular to watch, with a variety of movements. It can crawl forward and backward, turn left and right, and move and rotate its body with its legs firmly on the ground. It also has three different moving modes, from slow to speedy.
This kit comes with the parts needed to assemble the spider, a tutorial on how to do it, and the code. Programming is easy and suitable for beginners, and it comes with complete code and a code library.
The kit does not include a battery and charger, however, which can be problematic. A special type of batter is needed, so you will need to get a hold of 14500 IMR batteries. Another precaution – these batteries are for high-drain devices and do not have internal protection, so you must exercise caution when using them.
What we love about this kit is that you can control the robot wirelessly with multiple devices:
- your phone
- the remote part of the kit
If you use your phone as a controller, make sure that your software is up to date (iOS 10 or later and Android 4.4 or later). When it comes to computers it is compatible with both macOS and Windows.
Enthusiasts who are willing to put extra work into assembling the spider will be happy to know that there are extension ports so you can install different kinds of additions such as sensors and cameras.
Freenode also provides technical support, so you can always reach out to their team which can answer your questions.
- Wide range of movements
- Different control methods
- Support provided
- Detailed tutorial
- Battery not included
This product is great for hobbyists who want to build an attractive robot. Just make sure you can find the appropriate battery as well.
The Adeept spider is a great quadruped robot that allows anyone who is just starting in robotics to build a crawling robot without much prior knowledge.
This spider robot is great for beginners who want to learn, work on their programming skills, or figure out Arduino for the first time. Although it is recommended for children above 12, it’s more suitable for adults.
When it comes to movement, this particular model can move forward and backward, turn around in place, and also has two speeds.
What grabbed our attention with this robot is its ability to navigate and avoid obstacles. It has automatic obstacle avoidance based on an ultrasonic module which makes it very attractive.
Another advantage is the self-stabilization mode. The robot can change its height and the position of the legs on an uneven surface, which makes it perfect for uneven terrain, a very desirable trait for a spider robot.
Another attractive trait of this quadruped robot is that it comes with LED lights which can change color and indicate that the robot is working.
When you buy this crawling spider, a link to the instructions and tutorials is provided. This means you can stay updated about everything you need to know to assemble the robot. They also offer a support email and an online forum.
When it comes to assembly, it can get tricky. The body of the robot is laser-cut plastic, so pieces are pre-cut and wrapped in protective paper. However, the pieces are not marked, so you need to figure out which part is which based on the pictures in the instructions.
- Obstacle avoidance
- Different LED light colors
- Comes with a remote
- Lower quality plastic
- Parts not marked
This product is great for someone who is just starting in robotics and wants to learn, however, it doesn’t have a high-end feel.
This is a no-frills hexapod, however, it is easy to assemble and program. It’s great for both beginners and more experienced robotics fans and builders.
Just like Adeept’s quadruped spider, this one can move in different directions. It can move forward and backward, and it can rotate and move at different speeds.
This robot also has a built-in obstacle avoidance based on an ultrasonic module. This allows the robot to move around without crashing into walls and other obstacles. What sets this one apart is its ability to measure the distance between itself and objects in its surroundings.
Ultrasonic sensors on the platform send waves and calculate the distance so the spider avoids obstacles automatically and moves more graciously around. The distance between the robot and the object can be visible on the Python visual interface on the computer.
This hexapod spider can move on uneven terrain because of the self-stabilization mode. This robot has an attitude acceleration sensor so it can level by changing the height and the position of the legs even if the surface is bumpy or slanted.
Another feature of this spider is its attack mode. If the obstacles appear suddenly, for example, a reaching hand, the spider will go into attack position. It will lower its body and shake its head.
Another visually catchy feature is the LED lights that are on the spider’s head and can change color.
The instructions for this spider robot have been laid out in Lessons 1 to 13. This shows that the intention of the manufacturer behind this kit was learning.
The actual building of the robot takes place in Lesson 10, so if you’re not interested in learning how robots work, this might not be the kit for you. If you find yourself gravitating more toward just building or playing with a robot, there are much easier kits out there.
Keep in mind that this robot is powered by two batteries that are not included. You will need to get them yourself.
- Obstacle avoidance
- Distance measuring
- Attack mode
- Learning experience
- Battery is not included
This robot might be perfect for someone who likes a studious approach and wants to learn from the experience.
What You Need to Know About Arduino Spiders
Arduino spider robots mimic the movements of spiders, crabs, or other living creatures. The number of legs does not always correspond to the number of legs of an actual spider. It can vary from four to six to eight.
The ones with more legs are more stable and can have more complex movements, but are also more expensive and more demanding to build.
They can be found under different names: quadruped, hexapod, arachnoid-bot, and crawler robot. All of these names give a clearer mental image to a user bringing their most distinctive trait to the forefront.
What all of these Arduino spiders have in common is a body lifted from the ground with a board placed on top and multiple long legs with at least one joint per leg which enables the robot to move similarly to a living creature.
Spider robots come in different shapes, colors, and sizes depending on their purpose. They range from tiny spider-like robots whose size is in millimeters, like the one that Northwestern University engineers have developed to those like La Princesse, a 5-meter spider created by French performance art company La Machine.
The list of industry branches that can utilize spider robots in the future is only getting longer: from medicine and surgery to space exploration, monitoring toxic environments, and post-nuclear zones.
Also moving through environments that other robots can not, like climbing walls or walking on rough and bumpy surfaces.
We are still finding new ways to use robots in science and everyday life. Arduino spiders usually weigh 1kg and are the size of an A4 paper when standing.
The main purpose of Arduino spiders is to bring the excitement and joy of putting together a spider robot to robotics enthusiasts and hobbyists.
These spider robots are beginner-friendly and the perfect tool for someone who wants to dabble in programming. At the same time, they also offer the opportunity to choose more advanced models or appendices to more experienced builders and those with backgrounds in engineering.
The documentary movie Arduino shows how fascinating the world of these robots is. This documentary offers a look into the story of the open-source hardware board that artists, engineers, and students utilize for all sorts of ideas.
The number of Arduinos in the world in 2011 was estimated to be around 300,000, which goes to show just how popular and versatile they are. The exact number of Arduino spiders in the world at the moment is unfamiliar but it likely goes beyond six figures.
Arduino spiders have found their way to different hobbyists, from those who want to emerge in robotics to students who want to learn, artists who dwell in modern art, and those looking for a fun family activity or a gift for someone special.
Spider robots guarantee one thing for all of them – the unique, out-of-this-world experience of bringing a crawling monster to life.
Do I have to have a background in engineering or programming to be able to build an Arduino spider?
No, all Arduino spiders are beginner friendly, however, it will take substantially more time for someone who is just starting. Whereas for an experienced builder, it can take a few hours to build a spider, a beginner might need a few weeks.
Which Arduino spider is best for learning?
We have found that the best one to learn is Adeept Hexapod Spider because of the manual that includes 13 lessons.
Are Arduino spiders safe for children to play with?
Most of the spiders are marketed toward older children, aged 12 and older as well as adults. Most of the spider kits contain small particles that are dangerous to inhale or ingest, as well as unprotected batteries that are needed for some models.
What are the dimensions of the completed hexapod?
Most of the Arduino spiders are about the size of an A4 sheet of paper and if they stretch out completely, they occupy a larger area.
Is everything including the board and the tools in the kits?
Yes, everything is included in the kit. Some kits may need additional batteries and a charger.
Can Arduino spiders carry weight?
The Freenove hexapod can carry up to 100 gr of weight.
Can sensors or other additions be added?
It is possible to make additions to models that have extension ports like the Freenove hexapod.
Even though different brands of Arduino spider kits are available online, two of the most popular ones are Freenove and Adeept.
Adeept manufactures robot kits and robotic arms. With most of their products being under $100, they are the more affordable option.
Freenove has a weirder range of robots, robotic cars, and accessories, however, most of their kits are double the price. Even though Freenove spider robot kits are pricier, they are also more sophisticated. They offer more options and have a sturdier feel to them.
All in all, our favorite pick for the Arduino spider would have to be the Freenove Hexapod Robot Kit because of the variety of features, sturdy feel, and possibility of upgrading through extension ports.
If this one is out of your budget, both Adeept options are awesome open-source robots. They allow anyone to build their walking robot with no prior knowledge of robotics.
Claudio Sabato is an IT expert with over 15 years of professional experience in Python programming, Linux Systems Administration, Bash programming, and IT Systems Design.
With a Master’s degree in Computer Science, he has a strong foundation in Software Engineering and a passion for Robotics with projects that include Raspberry Pi and Arduino platforms.