Apr 15

The T8X is Here!

We have officially launched the T8X!  IT’S ALIVE!

Check out our newly created Vine account and very first Vine video here!  Make sure to turn up the music for maximum effect!  Six seconds is quite short, but no worries.  We’re currently working on a new video for posting on YouTube.

To our pre-order customers, we’re following the same plan as mentioned in our previous blog, so for now, we’re keeping this blog post simple.  Visit our T8X product page for updates and downloads throughout the coming weeks.


T8X First Selfie

Mar 15

Box Design and Launch Date!

The Box Design

We needed something that was easy to carry around, looked aesthetically pleasing, offered good protection, and was lightweight to ship around the world.  The box features a sturdy handle on the top, a buckle to lock the lid shut, shock absorbing foam on the inside to keep the product safe, and a scary 200-meter high spider robot taking over the city.

Here’s what the finalized box looks like.

T8X Shipping Box - Close Up

To keep the weight low for shipping, the box is made of corrugated cardboard.  The box has been designed so that the top side is reinforced with 3 layers of cardboard which helps to support the weight of the product when carrying it from the handle.  Extra cardboard layers are located only where it is needed the most, keeping the structure sturdy, yet very lightweight.

To lock everything in place, other cardboard boxes would normally feature a small folded tab to keep the lid closed.  While simple to manufacture and practical, it’s also something that can wear out quickly after several uses, so instead of a flimsy tab, a quick snap and release buckle is used here instead.

T8X Box - Step 1


T8X Box - Step 2


T8X Box - Step 3


T8X Box - Step 4


T8X Box - Step 5


To keep the box in good conditions during shipping, we plan on wrapping the entire box in brown packaging paper before we ship the item.  This means that all shipping labels and tape will be applied onto the brown paper instead of onto the box.  This should also protect the box against unwanted dirt and smudges during shipping.


Launch Date

It’s official!  We’re launching on April 30, 2015!  After launch, we expect to fulfill all pre-orders within a 3-month time frame after the first unit is shipped.  Emails will be sent to each customer individually one week before their robot is ready.

The next blog post is right before launch!  Stay tuned!


T8X Signal

T8X Spotlight Signal

Feb 15

T8X Controller App Revealed!

T8X Controller - 03

As some of you have asked us by email, “Is a controller included?”.  The short answer is no.  The long answer is that we’re including an app, and today, we’re revealing the news!  Instead of physical joysticks, we have moved the entire controller into the digital world by creating an app that takes advantage of your smartphone’s or tablet’s touch screen display to move the spider around.  This also allows users to easily download and run pre-programmed scripts at the touch of a button.  Most importantly, the flexibility of a software based controller means that it is customizable and can be updated to newer versions as they become available in the future.

The app is compatible with virtually any WiFi enabled device, including iOS and Android and is included with the product.




Modified Injection Molds

For the past two months, we’ve been secretly redoing the injection molds.  Injection molds are one of the most time consuming and expensive stages of product development, but from a quality point of view, it’s been worth it.  Some of the changes include upgrading the molds from a standard grade steel to a high quality imported steel and using high quality imported raw plastic materials.  This allows the plastic components to be manufactured with much tighter tolerances for smooth and energy-efficient walking.  Appearance-wise, we simply had to get rid of the distracting gaps for screw mounts on the legs and tail, which took away biological realism from the creature.




Manufacturing Preview


Our most recent machine addition to our lab is an automated Pick and Place machine, which accurately assembles tiny electronic components onto a printed circuit board at a high production speed.  All boards are manufactured in-house, giving us complete control over the quality of our products.


A Spider House

The T8X deserves a good home when not in use, so, as mentioned in our status updates, we’re putting extra thought into the box design.

Of all the types of protection methods available, from Styrofoam to bubble wrap to vacuum-formed packaging and so on, we have found that polyurethane foam provides the best possible protection.  Here’s a sneak peek.  The final box look will be revealed in our next update.


The shape of the foam is tailor-made to fit the T8X robot, providing the robot a snug fit during transport.  Battery and power adapter compartments are also included for convenience.

During the foam manufacturing process, we discovered a new species.  Until we’re able to properly identify them, we are just calling them FoamBugs.  These FoamBugs are everywhere!  Although quite harmless, we haven’t figured out what to do with them yet.





At the heart of each of our walking robots is our Bigfoot™ Robotics Engine, a piece of software that turns lifeless mechanical parts, motors and electronics components into scary, life-like creatures.  After new algorithms are developed, they are tested to make sure that they work just as intended.

To do this, we use grid environments to film and playback sequences of motions while keeping the robot stationary.  This allows us to measure different parameters, such as walking speeds and leg motions in a controlled and measurable environment.

Grid Environment



A new major update will be available in March.  We also will be announcing the official launch date in the first week of March on our T8X product page’s Status Updates section.  Stay tuned for more to come!


Run for your lives!!!

Run for your lives

May 14

A Sneak Peek at the T8X’s New Features

T8X Bottom

We’ve been busily working around the clock for the past few months converting the 3D printed T8 robot prototype into the next generation injection molded, consumer version, T8X.  Not only does this conversion make the robot much more affordable for everyone, but we’re also using this opportunity to add more features to it, making it smarter, more user friendly and customizable.

T8X Inside

Our main goal for this new version is to achieve the ideal balance between a simple, user friendly, easy to control toy that works right out of the box and a powerful mobile robotics platform that hobbyists, scientists and researchers can customize and expand on. In order to merge these two worlds into one product, several important updates have been made:

  • The top cover can be easily removed by simply pushing open a snap-fit feature located behind the head, giving easy access to the payload area.
  • The robot has a main motherboard which handles all the background robotics algorithms (the Bigfoot™ Robotics Engine) and a separate user programmable daughter board to handle the higher level commands to tell the robot what to do. This daughterboard can be set to run custom sequences created by the user or those created by other users who are sharing their scripts within the Robugtix community. Once the product is ready to ship, a Robugtix community website will be created as a meeting place for Robugtix customers and T8/T8X fans, to share their cool ideas, scripts and customization projects with each other and with the world.
  • The slots on the left and right side of the robot allow a velcro strap to wrap around and hold the battery in place.  This means that any size and shape battery pack can be used. A single 4.8V NiMH battery pack will be included with the robot.
  • Connecting the power adapter (also included) to the robot will recharge the NiMH battery. The built-in battery charger can only be used to recharge NiMH type batteries. Why NiMH batteries only? The explanation is at the end of this blog post.
  • The on/off switch and power adapter jack is located on the front lower side of the robot.
  • A clear window for the “eye” of the robot lets users add their own little camera inside the robot to record the world as seen from the robot’s perspective. In the future, an official Robugtix camera accessory may be available at our online store for users to get that awesome first person spider view of the world.
  • Finally, there are 4 mounting holes located on the inside of the robot for users who may want to customize it further with additional sensors.

Going back to explaining why NiMH batteries are being used… we are only supporting NiMH batteries at this moment due to air shipping regulations.  Nickel type batteries, such as the NiMH are considered relatively safe for air shipping around the world. Lithium type batteries, on the other hand, are a different story when it comes to air shipping safety. A LiPo battery that short circuits or gets wet can catch fire and explode, making it difficult for us to create a LiPo based product that directly ships internationally from our facilities in Hong Kong to your location.

The main advantage of using Lithium type batteries instead of Nickel batteries is the lighter weight. While it is still possible to power the robot with a light weight LiPo battery (after making sure it meets the voltage requirements of the robot) recharging with the built-in charger must not be allowed to occur under these circumstances (do not plug in the power adapter into the T8X robot if a LiPo battery is connected to the T8X). The built-in battery charger inside the T8X was designed to safely and efficiently recharge NiMH batteries only. Using the built-in NiMH charger to charge a LiPo battery is dangerous so a separate LiPo compatible external charger must be used instead. Safety is our top priority, so unless there is a special research purpose requirement, we recommend that you stick to NiMH batteries on the T8X to avoid possible accidents. Warranty will be voided if battery types other than NiMH are used.

The images included in this blog post are computer rendered and are not actual photographs of the product yet. The molds for this product are being made at the manufacturing facility at this time. Moldmaking is a careful, part art, part science (mostly science), process that takes on average, 2 months, and sometimes additional mold iterations are done to increase the accuracy further.  So these renderings are sneak peek images of what to expect. Once the molds are finished and the first few units are in our hands, new videos will be out and the products will come off the manufacturing and assembly line at blazing speeds.

In future blog updates, we will show the other aspects of the robot, such as controlling the robot with our new controller software (yes, another sneak peek blog will be available soon), and how to program custom sequences.  Stay tuned!

T8X Off

Oct 13

T8 Launch!

After successfully launching our iitsii hexapod robot kit about a month ago, the time has now come for us to say goodbye to the first batch of T8 spider robots and ship them off around the world to their respective new owners.  We sincerely thank all pre-order customers who supported the iitsii and T8 project from the very beginning.  It’s been an exciting journey for all of us here at Robugtix, creating something fun and interesting to share with the world.

T8 Packaging AreaThe T8 spider robots ship 98% pre-assembled and fully calibrated right out of the box.  This means customers spend much less time going through instructions manuals and more time playing with it instead.

Stay tuned for more updates from this blog, as well as some exiting new videos to be released soon on our Robugtix YouTube Channel.