Spider shaped tanks appear regularly in near-future/cyberpunk settings. The earliest examples I'm aware of are from Masamune Shirows 1989 manga series Ghost in the Shell. While the idea of walking tanks in general is much older, I suspect that the spider aesthetic is more recent. I would like to know what the earliest appearance of these types of tanks (compact, possibly segmented torso, 4-8 limbs) in fiction is.

  • Does it need to be piloted or would autonomous devices count? Does it need to have 6/8 legs? What about a centipede-like body? IIRC the Tachikoma have a single thorax like real-world spiders and insects, so where is "segmented torso" coming from?
    – DavidW
    Nov 20 at 4:52
  • automated vehicles are also fine. i'm just interested in the general shape. after looking at some pictures in the results for an image search for "spider tank", there are definitely examples that i would call a "spider tank" that dont fit my description. im not quite sure how to articulate what type of walker i would count then, but a star wars AT-TE, for example, definitely not. re: tachikomas, i was thinking of the backpack thingie where the (optional) pilot sits. also im pretty sure insects have segmented bodies. maybe im using the word torso wrong. ill update the question. Nov 20 at 15:32
  • also, the tank at the end of the first ghost in the shell movie fits the aesthetic im interested in much better than the tachikomas. Nov 20 at 15:37
  • Do the tripods in War of the Worlds count?
    – Shawn
    Nov 20 at 17:35
  • 2
    tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpiderTank lists some pre GitS manga examples like Akira and Appleseed
    – Shawn
    Nov 20 at 17:52


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