A two-tonne, six-legged robot that you can pilot using two joysticks is finally operational after four years of unpaid work and an investment of thousands of pounds by an electronics engineer in Hampshire, England.

The robot, known as Mantis, looks somewhat like six excavator arms attached to the cab of an Apache helicopter and can walk at a top speed of 1.5 kilometres an hour, said its creator Matt Denton in an interview with CBC's As It Happens this week.

The robot can also be remote controlled.

"But obviously, it's more fun being on board," Denton said.

Over the course of the interview, Denton revealed why he decided to invest so much of his sweat, time and money into a robot that has no obvious practical use.