The six-legged educational robot Vorpal Combat Hexapod from Vorpal Robotics used one of its appendages to launch its own Kickstarter campaign.
“We gave the honor to the oldest surviving prototype hexapod,” founder and product developer Steve Pendergrast said in a press release. “Its name is Scrum. Every Vorpal Combat Hexapod has an individual name.”
The campaign aims to raise $18,000 to fund development, and for certain sized contributions, backers could receive either a basic or full kit to build a robot or pre-assembled Hexapods. With a basic kit, the recipient would need to 3D print the parts, but would receive the electronics, motor and hardware needed to assemble it. A full kit comes with all the parts pre-printed.
The Hexapod robots are designed to provide STEM learning experiences for elementary to high school students. The robot includes a custom Bluetooth gamepad and different appendages to attach to the accessory port, which are 3D printed, allow up to 60 motion capabilities and can be used to play games.
“This is a great platform for fun activities that promote STEM education,” Pendergrast said. “Schools with 3D printers can fabricate the plastic parts themselves and then buy low-cost kits with the electronics and motors from our Kickstarter campaign. They can even motivate students to design their own 3D printed attachments.”
The system employs the Scratch drag-and-drop programming language from MIT, a common code used to introduce students to programming. The program allows students to create and upload new motions for use during activities.
“Scrum the hexapod launched this project on Kickstarter,” Pendergrast said, “but it will be his descendants who will go out into the world to teach kids about science, technology, engineering and math.”