Remember Alfred Monila's mechanical tentacles from Spider-Man 2 that made him climb up the buildings and kick the spiderman's arse? The news is that 3 instructors and 15 of their students are scheming to do something similar in nature at Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, Massachusetts, though at a larger scale.
A part of the summer project, Project Hexapod, the mammoth six-legged monster is to be named 'Stompy'. The name intends to scare the frequent pedestrians on pavements and the machine itself doesn't intend to look any friendlier. The two-seater droid is to be powered by propane-fueled 135HP hydraulic engine with its legs spanning 17 feet horizontally and staying 6 feet off the ground. These dimensions are enough to surround your latest compact car or tantalize you during one of your walks to the nearest grocery store.
The project is yet in its preliminary stages and the team is currently looking to develop a smaller prototype that can be scaled up later. Its six-cylinder engine has been taken from a forklift with the use of propane as fuel so that it can be used indoors as well as outdoors, propane being a more clean fuel. The robot will enjoy 18 degrees of freedom that allows all legs to move simultaneously. The team intends to take advantage of open source as budget is limited. The robot will take directions from an Ubuntu based computer with most programming done in Python to scale down the development time. While the team is still far away from building one, we can already foresee it being a game changer in rescue missions in forests and difficult terrains where the wheels aren't of much use. The disabled might get their much wanted mechanical legs that help them rid their wheelchairs.