Item #: SCP-278
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: Without any input into its controls, SCP-278 will construct its web in any dimly lit, large open area, preferring high 90 degree tri-corner roosts spanning 300 cubic meters. Those personnel at its controls report that the ease of piloting SCP-278 appears inconsistently simple in comparison to the complexity of the mechanisms involved and the lack of any electronic guidance.
Description: SCP-278 is a large mechanical robot made of steel, iron, and banyan wood, strongly resembling Idiops barkudensis, a type of Indian arachnid. Clear signs that SCP-278 has been "upgraded" or "modernized" recently have been found. Core mechanisms and frame of the body are dated back some 150 years to the [EXPUNGED] period. Many new engineering components have been added by unknown parties. Hydraulics and servos seem to have replaced what were systems of pulleys and gears driven by steam engines. The average length of SCP-278 is about 16.5 m (54 ft) from the opisthosoma (abdomen) to the tip of the furthest leg and the highest part of the main body sits about 8.2 m (27 ft) off the ground.
A control panel of levers and pedals are positioned at what would be the mid-cephalothorax on the back of SCP-278. Again, numerous modifications have been made to the control panel, actually simplifying the control scheme into a more conventional "flight stick and throttle" configuration. Though SCP-278 lacks any electronics, CPU, or wiring beyond the presence of a few dozen car batteries, the complex motions of multipedal locomotion are fully automated though a complex network of looping tethers, compound pulleys, belts, and hydraulic pistons. The oldest functioning component of SCP-278 is a type of "processing transmission" relying on multiple rotating perforated drums and coils providing different instructional input for commands of motion. A human operator working the controls essentially "shifts gears" to readjust the configuration and position of the control drums and coils which guide the rhythm of motion to the legs essential for moving SCP-278.
Though the finer details that control SCP-278 are not fully understood, researchers are perplexed by the autonomy SCP-278 displays when no human input is presented. It is not known how SCP-278 is capable of moving and performing complex tasks on its own without an operator, the most impressive of which is the construction of an elaborate "web" made from nylon tether, similar to bungee cord, with high tensile strength. The cords are constantly stored and reused since the discovery of SCP-278, the typical web having a diameter of about 41 m.
Addendum: SCP-278 escaped confinement on the 2nd of September 2008 when SCP-███ breached its own containment, disabling the facility located at [EXPUNGED]. During the night, SCP-278 had traveled [EXPUNGED] km to Liverpool, England, where it was found, poised vertically upside down on the side of a building known as Concourse House. SCP personnel posing as a theatrical group introduced SCP-278 to citizens as "La Princesse," the showcase of a theatrical production. With human operators at the controls, SCP-278 was paraded around the city under the guise of a show.