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Arachnophobes beware: Stompy is a giant, 6-legged robot that you can ride

Jacob Siegal | Aug. 15, 2012
Giant robots are unlikely to ever go out of style. Blockbuster movies, television shows, transforming toys, and homemade projects all revolve around a world where giant robots exist as much more exciting and much less practical machines than tractors or assembly arms. Stompy is not only one of those incredible robots, but it could be a reality if Project Hexapod reaches its funding goal.

Giant robots are unlikely to ever go out of style. Blockbuster movies, television shows, transforming toys, and homemade projects all revolve around a world where giant robots exist as much more exciting and much less practical machines than tractors or assembly arms. Stompy is not only one of those incredible robots, but it could be a reality if Project Hexapod reaches its funding goal.

Project Hexapod is a group of three professional roboticists, a national champion Battlebots building TA, and eighteen eager students who want to bring Stompy to life.

Stompy official description calls it "an open-source, 18ft wide, 4,000 pound, 6-legged hydraulic robot that you can ride. Stompy will also be 10 feet tall (tall enough for a car to drive underneath) and will draw its power from a 135-horsepower propane engine. Stompy also has realistic, practical applications as well, with its ability to walk on unsteady terrain and its carrying capacity of up to 4,000 pounds.

The $65,000 that Project Hexapod is asking for will cover the raw materials needed to build Stompy, including steel, waterjetting, electronics, and hydraulic components. Should the projects funding exceed its goal, the team will be able to enhance its robot significantly. If it hits $300,000, the team plans to start a company devoted to creating open-source high-end robotic technology, and start developing a zoos worth of rideable robots.

Other than the fact that riding a giant steel spider might no longer be a childish fantasy, this project is representative of the future of robotics Project Hexapod hopes to inspire. Stompy will be completely open-source, meaning every single diagram, presentation, and list will be available to the public once the project is completed.

If you want to be part of the future of large scale robotics, or possibly even take a ride on Stompy at a demo day, head over to Project Hexapods Kickstarter, which is currently less than $2,000 from being funded.

 

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