You know what’s cooler than a spider robot? A spider robot that you can ride. Also one that isn’t trying to tear your face off in some 1950s B-horror movie nightmare.
Now Beantown is one step closer to getting one of our very own. Project Hexapod, a group of instructors and students from the “Robotics Intensive: Rideable Hexapod” class at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, have opened up a Kickstarter hoping to raise $65,000 to make their robot a reality.
“The effort was started as a class project that taught people the fundamentals of working with robotic components at a larger scale than you could find in any university,” said Gui Calvacanti, co-founder of Artisan’s Asylum, and an instructor on the project in response to comments on an Engadget article. “The point is to learn and release hardware into the open source community of a scale that’s never been there before.”
The robot–affectionately called Stompy–will be a rideable, 18 foot wide, 4,000 pound, 6-legged, engine-powered walking robot, according to the Kickstarter page. However, he is incomplete. The plan is to make him fully functional, and to hopefully raise enough money to get him to appear for demonstrations at local festivals.
That means you can have the chance to ride him. That’s right. You can RIDE a robot. Hold on to your panties, I know how awesome that sounds.
So if you want to have the chance to ride a robot, I suggest donating to the Kickstarter.
There are many benefits to donating. Up to the $100 level, benefactors get some free swag, including some hilarious T-shirts and bumper stickers.
However, over $200 things start to get interesting. At $200, you have the opportunity to choose characters to weld into the body. At $300 you get to ride the damn thing. Anything above that is just too good to be true.
Project Hexapod hopes to make robotics more accessible and more affordable, especially in terms of parts. Each leg alone will cost around $6,000.
With legs that big, it’s no wonder why they call it Stompy.