Stompy is probably well named. It is a six-legged insectoid robot that you can ride, so isn't going to be a quiet walker. If you want to see, or hear it in action then you need to pledge some money at Kickstarter. They only want $65,000.
Stompy is a two-seater robot that walks like an insect. It is 18 ft wide and weighs in at 4000 lb. It is a big, some might say too big, hydraulically powered robot.
Project Hexapod is a team of three professional roboticists and 15 students based in Somerville, Massachusetts and they are asking for $65,000 on Kickstarter to get some parts and get on with the project. To date over $12,000 has been pledged but it is very early days (29 days to go) and the campaign might well meet its target.
So what do you get if you pledge some money?
There is no doubting that the team have their sense of humor and fun in the right place. For just $10 you can have the following bumper sticker:
For $20 you also get a wrist band proclaiming
"FRIEND OF ROBOTS - DO NOT TERMINATE"
For $40 you get a T-shirt included in the package.
All nice stuff but it's the big money that gets the real rewards. For $200 you can nominate an object that Stompy will ... well ... stomp all over for you. For $300 you get a ride. For a $1000 you get to drive and so on up to $10,000 where the sky is the limit. See Kickstarter for all of the deals on offer.
What is more important in a broader context is that the project aims to make building big robots easier for the amateur. The plans, including the control gear and hydraulics, will be published when the project is complete.
Currently the project has completed various parts of the control equipment and built a half scale prototype leg. The team is now working on a full size leg to test. Each leg costs around $6000 and uses 350lb of water-cut steel, three hydraulic actuators and shock absorbers.
But what if you want one of your own?
Well you could wait for the plans to be released and start work at once. Alternatively you could just hand over $300,000 to the team which is what they charge for building a commercial model.
Now just think what you could stomp with that...