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Bio-Inspired Design and Dynamic Maneuverability of a Minimally Actuated Six-Legged Robot
  • Aaron M. Hoover, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  • Samuel Burden, University of California - Berkeley
  • Xiao-Yu Fu, University of California - Berkeley
  • S. S. Sastry, University of California - Berkeley
  • Ronald S. Fearing, University of California - Berkeley
Document Type
Conference Proceeding
Publication Date

Rapidly running arthropods like cockroaches make use of passive dynamics to achieve remarkable locomotion performance with regard to stability, speed, and maneuverability. In this work, we take inspiration from these organisms to design, fabricate, and control a 10cm, 24 gram underactuated hexapedal robot capable of running at 14 body lengths per second and performing dynamic turning maneuvers. Our design relies on parallel kinematic mechanisms fabricated using the scaled smart composite microstructures (SCM) process and viscoelastic polymer legs with tunable stiffness. In addition to the novel robot design, we present experimental validation of the lateral leg spring (LLS) locomotion model's prediction that dynamic turning can be achieved by modulating leg stiffness. Finally, we present and validate a leg design for active stiffness control using shape memory alloy and demonstrate the ability of the robot to execute near-gymnastic 90° turns in the span of five strides.


© 2010 IEEE. This article was published in the 2010 3rd IEEE RAS and EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob), pp.869-876 and may be found here.

Citation Information
Aaron M. Hoover, Samuel Burden, Xiao-Yu Fu, S. S. Sastry, et al.. "Bio-Inspired Design and Dynamic Maneuverability of a Minimally Actuated Six-Legged Robot" (2010)
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