Pegleg the six-legged (hexapod) robot – part 1, introduction

barely walking robot

The first iteration - Smooth floors only.


Pegleg's distant ancestor "BS2-6-bot

Late in the year 2000 after watching Battlebots, I decided that I needed my own robot.  While the price of a Battlebot proved too high, both in terms of materials, access to machine tools, and radio remote control knowledge, I found another robot that seemed like it would be within reach.  In these pre-youtube days, finding the “bs2-6-bot” on this page looked like a robot that wouldn’t break the bank, but would still be very impressive given it’s six-legged walking style.  As there were only a few pictures to work with, it was a challenge figuring out how to make it, but after a week or two of work and around $200, I had a working robot.

robot side view final assembly

View of Pegleg from the side after all the improvements done

pegleg hexapod 3d model

3D model of Pegleg (top removed)

This robot did work in the sense that it could crawl on a very smooth surface for a little while before either the paper-clip linkages broke, something unscrewed, or there was another random breakage.  Clearly I had a lot to learn about building a robot that worked well.  I would learn much of the sills needed to make this a good robot, including machine tools, CAD, and even some kinematic analysis techniques over the next year as an engineering student and intern.  Gradually, and after about $100 of new parts, this ‘bot transformed from a very shoddy robot-shaped-object into something that I could actually be proud of.  It was even chosen to represent Clemson University at a regional engineering conference (this wasn’t done as a project for school, but I entered it anyway).

In the next few posts I will try to give you the basics that you would need to build a robot like Pegleg.  Possibly you’ll instead be inspired to come up with something on your own.  Four more posts are planned including: construction, prints, and bill of materials, walking and linkage analysis (kinematics is the technical term), servo control and robot programming, and a section on ideas that were tried but never really implemented.  This “hexobot” robot isn’t currently functional, so if I get around to it, maybe I’ll have another post on restoring it to functionality and/or how it does versus my dog Evie.

As an introduction, here’s a video of Pegleg in a very early form without some of the improvements that would come later.

About Jeremy S Cook

Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!
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2 Responses to Pegleg the six-legged (hexapod) robot – part 1, introduction

  1. Pingback: Using GIMP to make .gif animated project illustrations | JCOPRO.NET

  2. Pingback: Improving a hexapod design - Hack a Day

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