This is Stompy — a giant hexapod that you can ride in. (How
awesome is that!?)
Stompy is the brainrobot of Artisian's Asylum, a hackerspace out
in Boston. This is actually a serious undertaking. The guys behind it are
experienced roboticists from places like Boston Dynamics, Barrett,
and DEKA. The robot will be powered by a 135 horsepower engine
driving a whole bunch of hydraulics, and while it's largely designed to
stomp around in an exhibitory manner, the team has big plans fot it.
The robot isn't just being built for fun. It has practical purposes,
as well. With six force-sensitive legs and a ground clearance of six
feet, the robot will be able to walk over broken terrain that varies
from mountainous areas, to rubble piles, to water up to seven or eight
feet deep —
everywhere existing ground vehicles can't go. Not only that, while
navigating such terrain Stompy could carry 1,000 pounds at 2-3 mph, and
up to 4,000 pounds at 1 mph. This is important in disaster areas because
Stompy (and the technology it represents) could easily reach people who
can't be reached by other means.
So how big is big? Check out the photo.
Yep. That's a person! A really tall person named Matt.
LEAPS OF FAITH
Roboticists at the Harbin Institute of Technology in
China have managed to make a robotic insect that — in
addition to walking on water — can also jump. Modeled
after a water strider, the legs of this robot are made of a a
porous, water-repellent nickel foam. The concept is that if
you spread the weight of the robot out enough, the
surface tension of the water can support it. This is a tall
order for a robot this large. Weighing in at 11 grams, this
porker is over a thousand times the mass of its biological
To get the robot to jump, a separate set of legs was added, bringing the total to five. By using these actuating legs to push
against the surface of the water, the robot was able to make leaps 14 centimeters high and 35 centimeters long, taking off at
nearly 65 kph which is impressive for such a little guy. Robots like these could skim across lakes and other bodies of water to
monitor water quality or act as tiny spies.
Cool tidbits herein provided by www.botjunkie.com, www.robotsnob.com, www.plasticpals.com, http://www.robots-dreams.com/, and other places.
28 SERVO 10.2012