It falls off chairs, climbs up stairs, and is fun for a girl or a boy. No, it's not a Slinky, it's the Dagu Wild Thumper robot platform from Las Vegas based Pololu Robotics. This six wheel drive all-terrain system comes in a kit for just $450 but has the suspension to handle some really rough environments. Available in either a 34:1 or 74:1 gear ratio, it can get some impressive torque on its wheels. We have videos of it braving a construction site, tearing through snow, and even climbing stairs. Watch them all below.
To be honest, I've seen tougher bots. Some can jump a 25 foot fence, others fall from 90 foot buildings, and some are thrown into battle. All of those rugged robots, however, were built for the military or advanced research. The Wild Thumper is a commercially available kit that anyone can buy. That's pretty impressive. Pololu Robotics, comprised of former MIT grads, is giving the public some pretty serious potential here. For those of you who haven't been keeping up with the amateur robot industry, start paying attention. Between robot kit companies, Lego NXT, and custom builds, amateur engineers (if that term applies) can build some really impressive machines. Let's keep giving them cool systems to work with; I want to see what they build next.
[image credit: Pololu Robotics]
[source: Pololu Robotics]