Design, modeling and preliminary control of a compliant hexapod robot

We present the design, modeling and preliminary control of RHex, an autonomous dynamically stable hexapod possessing merely six actuated degrees of freedom (at the hip attachment of each leg). Our design emphasizes mechanical simplicity as well as power and computational autonomy, critical components for legged robotics applications. A compliant hexapod model, used to build a simulation environment closely informed the design and construction of the physical machine and promises to inform, similarly, our future analysis as well. Simulations and experiments show that RHex can achieve dynamically stable walking, running and turning with very simple clock driven open-loop control strategies.