If you're one of the thousands of people suffering from Katsaridaphobia—otherwise known as the fear of cockroaches—you may want to look away. When in motion, Dash Robotics' foldable, programmable origami robot bears an unsettling resemblance to that common household pest.
Engineered by a five-person team of PhD students from the University of California, Berkeley, the nature-inspired Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod or DASH, if you will, has one DC motor and six legs, and can run almost six feet per second. That's a fair bit of space for something that;s only 4 inches long and a major improvement, it appears, on the original iteration of DASH.
Previously, the little roachbot was reportedly capable of only achieving speeds a hair's breadth under 5 feet per second.
What's most interesting about DASH, however, is not the fact it's made from a single sheet of cardboard polymer composite or that it can reliably fall off a kitchen counter without so much as batting a mechanical eyelash. It's the fact you can own one of your own—at some point, that is.
Dash Robotics plans to run a crowdfunding campaign sometime this summer. The company has yet to announce anything concrete as of yet, but it looks like the price point will be between $40 and $50.
Are you game? Because I'm game. I have a little sister to scare silly.