Take a look at this clever hexapod robot created by University of Arizona electrical engineering student Matt Bunting. Don't forget to turn up the sound to listen to the great soundtrack (Ideas 5 by 12 Cent Dwarf).
(Dancing DIY Hexapod Robot Video)
The hexapod robo uses a Logitech QuickCam webcam to take successive images, which are analyzed to help the robot determine movement. The robot uses Intel's 1.60GHz Atom Z530 and US15W chipset and runs Ubuntu; it's learning algorithm can even help the robot relearn how to walk if one of the legs is damaged.
"One of the things I wanted to explore was the idea of reinforcement learning. What I wanted to do was not preprogram any of those walking algorithms, I wanted it to figure out how to walk straight forward on its own," Bunting said. "It has the ability to figure it out itself."
The first hexapod robots I remember seeing are from the 1984 film Runaway, starring Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons from the rock group KISS. Michael Crichton wrote and directed this unjustly neglected movie.