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STOMPY, Somerville's 2-Ton Robotic Spider, Gets Funding

The giant robot, designed at Artisan's Asylum, could be used in areas struck by natural disasters, and an online fundraising effort is still ongoing to make the robot even more powerful.

You may have seen news about STOMPY, a 4,000 pound, 18-foot wide, 10-foot tall, six-legged, 135 horsepower robotic spider that seats two people and was designed at Somerville's .

It's captivated readers of a variety of publications around the world, including Gizmodo Australia and PCWorld, among others.

The giant ridable robot spider was designed by three instructors, a teaching assistant and 15 students at Artisan's Asylum as part of "Project Hexapod."

Well, you'll be glad to know—or frightened to find out, depending on your demeanor—that STOMPY may move from design to reality.

It's creators are running a Kickstarter campaign this month, originally seeking $65,000 in funding to build STOMPY.

According to Gui Cavalcanti, one of Project Hexapod's instructors, they successfully raised that money as of early Tuesday morning, and they're still going with over two weeks to go in the online fundraising campaign.

Once built, STOMPY will be able to walk over rough terrain and through six feet of water. Its designers think it could have a use in areas struck by natural disasters, being able to reach areas traditional vehicles can't get to.

If the group raises $95,000, they'll be able to build a "performance upgrade" on the robotic spider, allowing it to move over an even greater variety of terrain, according to the Kickstarter site.

STOMPY might also be useful in fighting your way down Somerville Avenue during rush hour.

What's more, once STOMPY built, the Artisan's Asylum folks plan to release the plans and technology as open source, so people around the world can design and build large robots like it.

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