Update: 2/27/2013

It’s time for the weekly update! The big news this week is that we finally got the prototype leg under closed-loop control – woohoo! We also continued work on the hydraulic power unit frame, made spacers for the powertrain, and started the final round of design on the chassis and leg based on lessons learned from the prototype leg. Check it all out in the video below:

In this coming week, we’ll be doing a lot of tuning of the control loops that govern the leg’s motion, continuing the final design process for the legs, and pushing ahead with the hydraulic power unit integration. Stay tuned – we’re starting to pick up some serious speed!


Update: 2/19/2013

Hello everyone!

We have come to realize that a) we are bad at this continuing-to-write-blog-posts thing, and b) even so, we really need to be documenting this process for the world to see. Thus, we’ve decided to change gears a bit and offer weekly video updates instead of blog posts. Check out our first update below!

Let us know what you think, and if you have anything you’d like to learn more about!


Swag Shipping


Just a quick update to announce that all swag (t-shirts, bumper stickers, wrist bands) bound for US addresses has shipped or will ship by end of today. For US supporters – your shirts and bumper stickers should arrive before Christmas.

Here are a few pictures of the team packing up the thousand+ orders. Our deal with the shipping company fell through, so we finally just decided to get everything done the old fashioned way…


International swag has not yet shipped and we’ll let you know when that goes out. We will definitely be shipping international orders before Christmas, but I wouldn’t count on them arriving before Christmas.

Thanks again for your support!

Hydraulic routing, valve mounting, hoop jumping and SWAG

Hello all!

It’s been too long since our last update, and for that we apologize. We’ve gotten a ton done. Most of it has been the not-so-glamorous support work that needs to happen. Since our last post, we’ve:

  • Acquired insurance for prototype leg and robot operations
  • Worked out a safety agreement with the Artisan’s Asylum
  • Received all of our swag!
  • 800+ T-shirts of many sizes
  • 1500+ bumper stickers
  • 1500+ wrist bands
  • Negotiated a deal with a shipping company to ship all our Kickstarter backers their rewards (without breaking the bank)
  • The T shirts arrived on Friday and are looking great:

    So to all our Kickstarter backers, your stuff should be arriving in the next month.  It’s taken us longer than we expected, and for that we apologize.  We still need to pack and address over a thousand packages, but we have all the equipment in place to do it.

    On the robot side of things we’ve also hit a few milestones.

    Continue reading Hydraulic routing, valve mounting, hoop jumping and SWAG

    Prototype Leg Structural Assembly


    Yesterday we finished structural assembly of the prototype leg. It looks awesome, so we’ll start with some pictures and then tell you everything that went in to it.


    Continue reading Prototype Leg Structural Assembly

    Full scale leg rough fitup

    Hello again everyone!

    First of all, we owe everyone a huge thank you – your response has been tremendous through this entire Kickstarter campaign. We hit our goal, and we’re only $2,500 away from our Performance Upgrade – woohoo! We wanted to take a minute and show you the progress we’ve made over the past month while the Kickstarter was up, and ask you to help spread the word (or perhaps up your pledge!) to help us achieve our $95,000 stretch goal.

    We’ve spent the past month taking refresher welding classes at Artisan’s Asylum and getting our technique down, and then welding each of the links together. MIG welding all of the plates together to form the shapes of the links went very quickly, but we hit a snag when we started to weld on the hollow cylinders required to hold the shafts and pins necessary to tie the legs together. Our initial welding and jigging techniques resulted in misalignment of the cylinders, and we had to cut them out and try again. We now have a controlled 12 step process for carefully TIG welding the cylinders to the link bodies, and we’ve started slowly welding the final pieces on to each link. Check our progress out so far:

    Continue reading Full scale leg rough fitup

    Anatomy of a Thigh Link

    Hello all, M@ here with an in-depth look at what exactly goes into assembling an unbelievable giant hexapod robot. Normally I do controls (software) and document our efforts, but today I’m helping with the physical building process.

    Before I get started, let me first say what a great honor it is to have had such an amazing Kickstarter response, your faith in our project blows me away. We’re just as excited about this project as you are… it’s incredible… it’s going to be great!

    Today we’re going to be looking at the thigh link. As it was delivered to us from the waterjet company our leg looked like:
    Continue reading Anatomy of a Thigh Link

    Public link to the codebase, leg fitup

    It’s been less than a week since we launched our Kickstarter and we are 72% funded. This is mindblowing! Thank you everyone for donating, for spreading the word, and for believing in us.

    We’ve received a couple of requests about the code repository and realized we haven’t ever publicly shared the link. Presently the central repository is a collaborative sandbox and full of experimental code, we will be separating a release branch out soon. In the meantime, the link for the curious is here.

    We’ve also had generous offers from remote developers who want to help. Thank you! We’ll be figuring out the right way to incorporate public contributions as we clean up the repository, stay tuned.

    Heightmapped terrain is now supported in the simulator. This will let us simulate much more complex and interesting situations than we could previously. Here’s a short demo of what that looks like with Stompy walking blindly forward. The ground is red in honor of the Mars landing.

    Continue reading Public link to the codebase, leg fitup