Share this project


Share this project

A low cost, open source, wireless, 3D printed, Scratch programmable Hexapod Robot designed for games, education, and FUN!
A low cost, open source, wireless, 3D printed, Scratch programmable Hexapod Robot designed for games, education, and FUN!
224 backers pledged $38,355 to help bring this project to life.
Last updated


The Vorpal Combat Hexapod project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with



What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Project supporting material callout image

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

What in the World is This Thing?

The Vorpal Combat Hexapod is a 3D-printed, Bluetooth-controlled, Open Source, low cost educational robot. It uses the Scratch drag-and-drop programming language developed by MIT (and already used by many schools).  It's made from standard Arduino hardware and other open source or commonly available components.

This robot is mesmerizing for adults and kids alike, and draws students into the world of STEM unlike anything else.

We provide the Vorpal Combat Hexapod both in kit form and fully assembled and tested! In kit form, you can either 3D print the parts yourself, or get the Full Kit which includes all 3D printed parts.

The "Fidget Spinner Challenge" is a simple and fun activity to familiarize students with the gamepad controls.
The "Fidget Spinner Challenge" is a simple and fun activity to familiarize students with the gamepad controls.

You can maneuver the Vorpal Combat Hexapod using its included 3D printed gamepad which can trigger 60 different motions useful in many different activities. The gamepad has an SD card and can even record motions and replay them. Even better: you can write Scratch programs to create your own custom hexapod motions and upload them onto gamepad buttons for use in games and activities! There's no other hexapod that has this kind of sophisticated yet easy-to-use functionality.

Dance Party! The gamepad's unique RECORD function can be used (for example) to record a choreographed dance routine and replay it.
Dance Party! The gamepad's unique RECORD function can be used (for example) to record a choreographed dance routine and replay it.

Who Should Get One?

This product was designed specifically for:

  • Makers who love to 3D print, build, remix, and mash-up technologies of all kinds. With all 3D models and software open source, you can get your custom hacks in and show us what you made!  You tell someone you 3D printed Vorpal yourself and they'll be in awe of your Maker skills.
  • Makerspaces and Hackerspaces. Do you want to attract new members? 3D printed vases, T-Rex skulls, and bunny rabbits only get you so far! Display a 3D printed hexapod that can scamper across the floor, dance, and joust, trust me, that gets attention.
  • Parents and Grandparents who have a robot-loving child or grandchild. This may look like a toy, but it's packed with educational value too!
  • Educators who want to incorporate a fun and informative STEM activity in their classroom or home school. With complete Scratch integration, there's nothing like this to motivate students.
  • Robotics Teams and clubs who want a great project to build and demonstrate during outreach activities.
  • Scouting and other youth groups: The Vorpal Combat Hexapod is a fantastic way to earn that technology badge!

The fact that the structural parts are entirely 3D printed means Makers and schools with access to 3D printers can save a lot of money by just purchasing the Basic Kit, which has everything they need (such as motors, electronics) other than the 3D printed parts and batteries. This makes the Vorpal Combat Hexapod just about the least expensive wireless hexapod kit on the planet, especially considering the amazing features this robot has!

Just want the bare minimum at a fantastic price? Pledge for our Bare Bones kit, you supply the 3D printed parts and we give you just enough electronics and other parts to run the hexapod with gamepad. No extras like sensors or SD card reader for the record feature, but you can add those later if you like.

Want a great learning tool that goes beyond the basics? Consider the Basic Kit. You provide 3D printed parts, we give you all the bare bones parts plus sensors and SD card reader.

Don't have a 3D printer or Maker Space nearby? No problem, we'll provide all the 3D printed plastic parts with our FULL KIT and this robot will still cost a fraction of other hexapods out there.

Don't want to build it, just play with it and maybe learn programming? Again, we have you covered! A fully assembled and tested version is available, and you'll still be able to buy two or more of these for the price of one similar hexapod.

These educational institutions and science centers have already used the Vorpal Combat Hexapod in their educational programs!
These educational institutions and science centers have already used the Vorpal Combat Hexapod in their educational programs!

How Can Teachers Use it?

What sets this project apart from other educational robots is the huge number of different ways it can be used by teachers, home schools, scouting groups, or others to learn about technology. There are fun, informative activities (posted on our website) that can be used by the youngest grades up through challenging tasks for high school and even college. 

  • 3D Modelling: Modify the 3D printed parts or make new 3D printed cool add-ons for our accessory ports or magnetic attachment points. 
  • Engineering Process: Have students compete in one of the activities such as Joust using manual controls. Then have them brainstorm new motions that might help them get an edge, program them using Scratch, then upload them to gamepad buttons for use in an activity!
  • Explore Robot Motion: Use the gamepad for activities and games such as Joust, Capture the Flag, and many more to familiarize students with how hexapod robots move and can solve problems.
  • Repetitive Tasks: Use the gamepad's Record feature to demonstrate how industrial robots can be trained to carry out repetitive manufacturing tasks.
  • Software Control: Learn programming using our Scratch extension, including the use of sensors to modify the hexapod's behavior, or for advanced Makers, hack into our open sourced Arduino code to your hearts content! 

You can keep it simple or get as complex as you want with the Vorpal Combat Hexapod.

Using our Scratch extension, you can use a simple drag and drop interface to program the Vorpal Hexapod, including changing behavior based on sensor readings.
Using our Scratch extension, you can use a simple drag and drop interface to program the Vorpal Hexapod, including changing behavior based on sensor readings.

What Is Included?

There are four different packages to choose from depending on your needs:

Vorpal Product Options
Vorpal Product Options

You can add $25 to any support level and also receive our absolutely awesome Vorpal Combat hexapod T-Shirt!

Adult sizes available: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Adult sizes available: S, M, L, XL, XXL

Why Are We Doing This?

We want to bring the Vorpal Combat Hexapod to the world! I coached and taught Robotics at the high school level for ten years, and I know how students learn technology, what excites them, and what motivates them to go deeper into the subject. 

I've worked with wheeled robots, even space-based robotic satellites in the Zero Robotics competition. I've seen reaction by students and adults to many different kinds of robot.

Here's the bottom line: When I first started demonstrating a prototype of this project over a year ago, I never saw such a reaction to any robotic display. Adults, teenagers, toddlers, it didn't matter. All I had to do was fire up the little hexapod robot and make it walk and dance, and people were instantly hooked--they wanted to know more.

That's what makes this project such an important educational tool. Students need only drive the robot for a few seconds to get hooked on technology. To them it seems like a game (Capture the Flag, Joust), but they're learning the complexities of walking gaits ... then you tell them they can program it themselves using a simple drag-and-drop interface, and they're drawn in to the world of technology!

Even small children pick up the gamepad and can be controlling the Vorpal Combat Hexapod immediately.
Even small children pick up the gamepad and can be controlling the Vorpal Combat Hexapod immediately.

Has This Hexapod Been Used With Real Students?

It sure has! We donated eight robots to the Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education (PAGE) for a summer program they ran for rural adolescent girls this past summer. One of my interns, a biomedical engineering student at Duke, ran the robotics activity that used our hexapods. This was the first time the PAGE summer program had a robotics activity! For six weeks girls in grades 6 through 9 used an early version of the Vorpal Combat Hexapod.

The results were amazing! One girl was overheard saying, "I can't believe I'm actually building a robot!"  Another was so excited by the Scratch programming that she cut other mandatory activities to get more sessions with the hexapods. (My intern looked the other way!)

At the end of the summer program, one of the students was asked what the PAGE program was all about, and she gleefully said, "Robotics!" even though that was just one of many activities.

To follow more of our success stories, see our Facebook page:


What's the Funding For?

The funding from this campaign will allow us to buy parts in large enough quantities to make this project the most economical and full featured hexapod robot on the market today. This will allow many more schools, home schools, Makers and hobbyists to afford this great project. Some of the funding will also be used to add several more 3D printers to our manufacturing facility so we can fulfill more orders from customers who don't have 3D printers of their own.

Technical Specs

NOTE: Batteries are not included.  Battery requirements: 

  • The gamepad can use a standard 9v transistor battery (either rechargeable such as NIMH or disposable such as alkaline). 
  • The hexapod uses two Lithium-Ion "18650" sized batteries. These are rechargeable and they are commonly available (used in flashlights) at places like They are quite inexpensive; you can get a bundle that includes two 18650 batteries and a smart charger for about $12 to $15. They can be recharged a thousand times!

Warranty: Each hexapod kit comes with a 30 day money back guarantee (you just pay shipping back to us) and a 90 day parts warranty.

Risks and challenges

We have been iterating this product for over a year, and it is in the final stages of development. At this point, we're just putting some finishing touches on the software and making a few adjustments to some of the game attachments.

The main risk is parts acquisition. Each kit requires 12 servo motors, so if we make or exceed our goals we will need thousands of them. We're partnering with a company to help us get all the parts we need on time to make our deadlines.

Early bird purchasers have very low risk because we've stockpiled enough parts to satisfy all of the allocated early bird rewards.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Funding period

- (35 days)

Line icon alert icon Artboard Copy 8 arrow-down icon arrow-down arrow-left icon arrow-left arrow-point-left icon Fill 1 Copy 5 arrow-point-right icon Fill 1 arrow-right icon arrow-right arrow-up-right icon icon--arrow-up-right copy bar-chart icon Artboard Copy 6 bell icon Combined Shape Copy 5 book icon Artboard Copy 3 bookmark icon Fill 1 brand-assets icon Artboard Copy 13 cart icon Artboard Copy 4 chat icon chat check icon Fill 1 Copy 6 circle-back icon Fill 1 Copy 13 circle-forward icon Fill 1 Copy 16 circle-k icon circle-k circle-left icon circle-left circle-right icon circle-right clipboard icon Artboard Copy 12 clock icon Combined Shape close icon close closed-caption icon Fill 1 compass icon Combined Shape Copy 2 conversion icon conversion delta-down icon Fill 1 delta-left icon delta-right icon Fill 1 delta-up icon Fill 1 duplicate icon duplicate embed icon Combined Shape Copy 6 eye icon Combined Shape Copy 12 facebook-contained icon Facebook Contained facebook icon Facebook logo flag icon Fill 1 Copy 3 gear icon Fill 1 Copy 14 global-africa icon Fill 1 Copy 9 global-america icon Fill 1 Copy 10 global-asia icon Fill 1 Copy 17 graph-bar icon Combined Shape Copy 9 graph-line icon Combined Shape Copy 16 heart icon Fill 1 Copy 8 help icon human icon icon--human icon--activity-feed.kds icon icon--add-heading.kds icon icon--advanced-analytics.kds icon icon--alarm icon icon--alarm icon--alert icon icon--alert icon--alt-text.kds icon icon--arrow-down.kds icon icon--arrow-down icon icon--arrow-down icon--arrow-left-2 icon icon--arrow-left.kds icon icon--arrow-left icon icon--arrow-left icon--arrow-right.kds icon icon--arrow-right icon icon--arrow-right icon--arrow-up-right icon icon--arrow-up-right icon--arrow-up.kds icon icon--arrow-up icon icon--arrow-up icon--backer-badge icon icon--backer-badge icon--bar-graph.kds icon icon--bell.kds icon icon--bell icon icon--bell icon--bold.kds icon icon--bolt.kds icon icon--bolt icon icon--bolt icon--bookmark-filled.kds icon icon--bookmark-outline icon icon--bookmark-outline icon--bookmark.kds icon icon--bookmark icon icon--bookmark icon--bulleted-list.kds icon icon--calculator icon icon--calculator icon--calendar-check icon icon--calendar-check icon--calendar.kds icon icon icon--calendar icon icon--calendar icon--campaign-outline icon icon--campaign-outline icon--caption.kds icon icon--captions.kds icon icon--cart.kds icon icon--category.kds icon icon icon--chat.kds icon icon--check.kds icon icon icon--check icon icon--check icon--chevron-down.kds icon icon icon--chevron-down icon icon--chevron-down icon--chevron-left.kds icon icon icon--chevron-left icon icon--chevron-left icon--chevron-right.kds icon icon icon--chevron-right icon icon--chevron-right icon--chevron-up.kds icon icon icon--chevron-up icon icon--chevron-up icon--circle-around.kds icon icon--circle-around icon icon--circle-around icon--circle-back icon icon--circle-back icon--circle-backward.kds icon icon--circle-check icon icon--circle-empty icon icon--circle-forward.kds icon icon--circle-forward icon icon--circle-forward icon--circle-loader icon Page 1 icon--circle.kds icon icon--circle icon icon--clipboard icon icon--clipboard icon--clock.kds icon icon icon--clock icon icon--clock icon--close.kds icon icon icon--closed-caption icon icon--closed-caption icon--code icon icon--code icon--collapse.kds icon icon--collapse icon icon--collapse icon--commissions icon icon--commissions icon--compass icon icon--compass icon--confirmation icon icon--confirmation icon--conversion.kds icon icon--conversion icon icon-conversion icon--copy.kds icon icon--cpu icon icon--credit-card.kds icon icon--credit-card icon icon--cross icon icon--cross icon--curve-right icon icon--curve-right icon--date-and-time.kds icon icon icon--delta-down icon icon--delta-down icon--delta-left icon icon--delta-left icon--delta-right icon icon--delta-right icon--delta-up icon icon--delta-up icon--download.kds icon icon--download icon icon--download icon--drag.kds icon icon--edit.kds icon icon--ellipsis.kds icon icon--ellipsis icon icon--error.kds icon icon icon--expand.kds icon icon--expand icon icon--expand icon--external.kds icon icon icon--external icon icon--external icon--eye icon icon--eye icon--facebook icon icon--facebook icon--filter icon icon--filter icon--filters.kds icon icon--flag-outline icon icon--flag.kds icon icon icon--flag icon icon--flag icon--forward-fund icon icon--frown-filled icon icon--frown icon icon--fulfillment.kds icon icon--gear icon icon--gear icon--globe-africa icon icon--globe-africa icon--globe-america icon icon--globe-america icon--globe-asia icon icon--globe-asia icon--globe.kds icon icon--graph-bar icon icon--graph-bar icon--graph-line icon icon--graph-line icon--hamburger.kds icon icon--hamburger icon icon--happy-filled icon icon--happy icon icon--header-anchor icon icon--heading.kds icon icon--heading icon icon--heart-filled.kds icon icon icon--heart-outline icon icon--heart outline icon--heart-thin-outline icon Fill 1 icon--heart.kds icon icon icon--heart icon icon--heart icon--heartstrings-and-hardbacks icon icon--hide.kds icon icon--home-with-door icon icon--home.kds icon icon--home icon icon--home icon--human.kds icon icon icon--human icon icon--human icon--humans.kds icon icon--humans icon icon--humans icon--image.kds icon icon--image icon icon--image icon--inbox.kds icon icon--inbox icon icon--inbox icon--indeterminate icon icon--info.kds icon icon icon--info icon icon--info icon--instagram icon icon/instagram icon--intermediate.kds icon icon icon--italic.kds icon icon--late-pledges.kds icon icon icon--lightbulb.kds icon icon--lightbulb icon icon--lightbulb icon--line-graph.kds icon icon--link.kds icon icon--link icon icon--link icon--location.kds icon icon icon--lock-black-bg icon lock-icon icon--lock icon icon--lock icon--locked.kds icon icon icon--log-out.kds icon icon--long-story-short icon icon--mail icon icon--mail icon--make-100 icon icon--media-embed.kds icon icon--meh-filled icon icon--meh icon icon--menu icon icon--menu icon--message.kds icon icon--message icon icon--message icon--milestone-dfm icon icon--milestone-idea icon icon--milestone-preprod icon icon--milestone-prod icon icon--milestone-proof-of-concept icon icon--milestone-working-prototype icon icon--minus.kds icon icon--mobile.kds icon icon--mobile icon icon--mobile icon--mute.kds icon icon--numbered-list.kds icon icon--order-management.kds icon icon--overflow icon icon--overflow icon--pause.kds icon icon--pause icon icon--pause icon--pencil icon icon--pencil icon--pie-chart icon icon--pin.kds icon icon--pin icon icon--pin icon--pinterest icon icon--pinterest icon--play-filled.kds icon icon--play.kds icon icon--play icon icon--play icon--pledges.kds icon icon--plus-human.kds icon icon--plus-human icon icon--plus-human icon--plus.kds icon icon--plus icon icon--plus icon--prohibit icon icon--prohibit icon--prohibited.kds icon icon--project-budget icon icon--project-we-love icon icon--pull-quote icon icon--pull-quote icon--pullquote.kds icon icon--question-filled icon icon--question-filled icon--question.kds icon icon--question icon icon--question icon--reorder icon icon-reorder icon--reply.kds icon icon--reply icon icon--reply icon--reward.kds icon icon icon--reward icon icon--save icon icon--save icon--saved icon icon--saved icon--search.kds icon icon--search icon icon--search icon--section-break icon icon--section-break icon--sentiment-neutral-filled.kds icon icon--sentiment-neutral.kds icon icon--sentiment-satisfied-filled.kds icon icon--sentiment-satisfied.kds icon icon--sentiment-unsatisfied-filled.kds icon icon--sentiment-unsatisfied.kds icon icon--settings.kds icon icon--shipping.kds icon icon--show.kds icon icon--small-k icon icon--sound-hi icon icon--sound-hi icon--sound-lo icon icon--sound-lo icon--sound-mute icon icon--sound-mute icon--spinner.kds icon icon--star-outline icon Star Outline icon--star.kds icon icon icon--star icon icon--star icon--stopwatch.kds icon icon--subtitles-captions icon icon--subtitles-captions icon--success.kds icon icon icon--survey-multiple-choice.kds icon icon--survey-open-text.kds icon icon--survey-single-choice.kds icon icon--survey.kds icon icon--tax-documents.kds icon icon--text-bold icon icon--text-bold icon--text-bullet icon icon--text-bullet icon--text-italic icon icon--text-italic icon--textalign-centered icon icon--textalign-centered icon--textalign-right icon icon--textalign-right icon--thumbs-down icon icon--thumbs-down icon--thumbs-up icon icon--thumbs-up icon--thumbsdown-outline icon icon--thumbsdown-outline icon--thumbsup-outline icon icon--thumbsup-outline icon--timeline-to-do.kds icon icon--trash.kds icon icon--trash icon icon--trash icon--tumblr icon icon--tumblr icon--twitter icon icon--twitter icon--unlink.kds icon icon--unlink icon Artboard icon--unlock icon icon--unlock icon--unlocked.kds icon icon icon--update-freeform-round icon icon--update-freeform-round icon--update-freeform icon icon--update-freeform icon--update-pinned icon Artboard icon--update-qa-round icon icon--update-qa-round icon--update-qa icon icon--update-qa icon--upload.kds icon icon--upload icon icon--upload icon--video.kds icon icon--video icon icon--video icon--volume-down.kds icon icon--volume-up.kds icon icon--warning.kds icon icon icon--warning icon icon--witchstarter icon icon--youtube icon icon--youtube icon--zine-quest icon icon-imagealign-center icon icon-imagealign-center icon-imagealign-left icon icon-imagealign-left icon-imagealign-right icon icon-imagealign-right info icon Combined Shape Copy instagram icon instagram copy kickstarter icon Artboard Copy 5 leaf icon leaf lightbulb icon icon--lightbulb link icon Combined Shape Copy 8 loading-spin icon lock icon Combined Shape Copy 4 mail icon Combined Shape map-pin icon Fill 1 menu icon Group message icon Fill 1 Copy 12 mobile icon Page 1 Copy 2 pause icon pause copy pencil icon Combined Shape Copy 3 pin icon Combined Shape Copy 11 pinterest icon pinterest play icon play copy plus-human icon icon--plus-human plus icon Fill 1 Copy 7 question icon Combined Shape Copy 14 search icon Fill 1 Copy 11 shapeshift icon share icon Fill 1 Copy slash icon solid-arrow icon solid-arrow sound-hi icon Combined Shape sound-lo icon Combined Shape sound-mute icon Combined Shape star icon Fill 1 Copy 2 stopwatch icon Group 2 thumbs-up icon Shape tools icon Shape trash icon Combined Shape tumblr icon tumblr copy twitter icon twitter copy user icon Artboard Copy 10 volume-up icon Artboard Copy 9 warning icon Combined Shape Copy 10 write icon Artboard Copy 11 x icon Fill 1 Copy 4 youtube icon Combined Shape