Mad scientists have it so easy now. Back in days of yore, if you wanted to create a death ray or giant marauding robot, you had to find suitably shady investors. Today’s young inventors simply turn to the Internet, palms outstretched, and ask “Won’t you please fund my giant rideable robot?”
Still, if you’re going to invest in one mechanical insectoid this year, make it Stompy. It’s being built by Project Hexapod, a team of three professional roboticists and 15 students based in Somerville, Massachusetts. They’re asking for $65,000 on Kickstarter.
Why should you fund Stompy? Um, because it’s a robot insect that you can ride around in. Also, you can get some pretty cool stuff for donating cash, including T-shirts and, for a mere $300, a ride inside of Stompy. I recommend growing a creepy mustache now so you can pretend you are Kenneth Branagh’s character in Wild Wild West.
Not enough for you? Want to rampage through your home town on a robot of your very own, shaking your fist at teenagers and laughing maniacally into the wind? All you need to do is donate $300,000 and Project Hexapod will build one for you.
Hopefully you have a big garage. This baby is 18 feet wide, 10 feet tall, weighs 4,000 pounds and will be powered by a 135-horsepower propane engine.
Considering the scale of this thing, it’s kind of amazing that the Project Hexapod team is only asking for $65,000. As they say on their Kickstarter page, “an equivalent robot built with high-end technology could easily cost on the order of a couple of million dollars.”
Once they get the cash, they’ll be able to order the steel and hopefully finish the robot within eight months. The best part? Once they’re done, they’re going to share everything with the public — plans, diagrams, and lists of parts — so other roboticists can replicate their efforts.
When the robot uprising comes, don’t you want to say to your robot overlords that you were on the right side of history?