A group of engineers and students in Boston, MA have dreamed up a rather inventive solution to the age-old problem of not having enough giant, robotic spiders on our roads, and its name is “Stompy”.
Stompy, according to Wired, is an enormous, spider-shaped, six-legged, petrol-powered robot that can carry two passengers and is large enough to walk over cars. Part of us thinks this could be the solution to all our modern transport problems. The other part, however, is just scared.
Stompy is the brainchild of Gui Cavalcanti, Dan Cody and James Whong, a trio of robotics engineers who created this monstrosity as part of a four-month course dubbed Project Hexapod. Their reasoning behind it is beautifully simple: “because we can”.
In their own words, the group is going “full stupid” on this project. The distance between the centre of Stompy’s two middle legs is 17 feet, which works out at about a lane and a half of traffic, while the bottom of the frame is 6 feet off the ground — enough clearance for it to walk clean over most 4x4s.
The terrifying bot’s hydraulic legs will be powered by a 135hp, propane-fuelled engine from a forklift truck, which should provide enough grunt for the beast to lift its own bodyweight as well as two incredibly brave passengers.
It’s fair to say Stompy doesn’t appear to be the most practical method of transport, but that’s not to say he’ll never be built (we’re assuming it’s a he). The leader of the project, Gui Cavalcanti has history in this field, and has worked with DARPA on a four-legged pack robot known as AlphaDog, that helps soldiers carry heavy loads.
The team certainly has the ability to get the job done, all it needs is enough funding, and it appears they’re plotting a solution to this. After initial research is carried out, it plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the necessary cash.
Head over to the team’s official Project Hexapod blog to keep an eye on Stompy’s progress.