Stompy: 4,000-pound, 6-legged rideable robot on the way
Six legs are better than two. Stompy the rideable robot will be able to carry people, crush objects beneath its feet, and perhaps someday get involved in disaster rescue operations.
Soon, that whiny kid from Transformers won't be the only one who gets to play with giant walking robots. The makers of Project Hexapod are Kickstarting Stompy, a honking huge two-seater hydraulic robot.
Oh, Stompy, where have you been all my life? I can't wait to some day meet all 4,000 pounds of you and watch as your six legs destroy everything in their path. Despite your frighteningly arachnid shape, you have an adorable moniker.
Stompy is about $50,000 into its $65,000 goal. The project rewards range from having your name shouted from the top of the White Mountains for $5 all the way up to taking Stompy out for field trips through local rubble piles and scrap yards in the Boston area for $10,000. If you're not that ambitious, then $300 will secure you a ride in Stompy on a demo day.
My favorite reward comes at the $200 level. You supply the team with an inanimate, non-volatile object of your choice and receive a video of Stompy stomping the living daylights out of it.
Stompy may be made of sheer geek awesomeness, but it also has some practical uses besides stomping obnoxious alarm clocks to bits. With a 6-foot ground clearance, the robot could be used to access difficult terrain in mountainous places or disaster areas.
If you would like to adopt a Stompy of your very own, the development team will accept $300,000 to make you a giant, rideable robot that you can take home. Just remember to feed it, walk it, and don't let it take over the world, even if it asks nicely.