The RHex Hexapedal Robot


RHex is a biologically inspired hexapedal robot invented and first characterized at the dawn of the century as part of a large DARPA funded consortium. A variety of RHex platforms have been developed since that time, and our lab has been particularly active in developing new versions for studying biologically inspired locomotiongait control, and sensor based navigation as well as for developing novel courses and other educational materials.

RHex platforms all include six legs, each with a single rotary actuator at the hip. Legs are designed from compliant materials to produce energetic running gaits. The leg modules are controlled from a central computer, which takes user commands or sensor feedback to decide how the legs should move.

The project has been mostly focused on higher order autonomy for the RHex robot, incorporating additional sensors for robust state estimation, visual navigation, and obstacle avoidance, as well as greater dexterity in controlling its legs to climb over and through obstacle fields.

RHex Robot Platforms

Current Research Platforms

X-RHex is designed for robust operation in complex, natural, outdoor terrain, and is the first RHex to feature a modular payload system
XRL is a lighter version of X-RHex designed to be more agile than previous RHexs, XRL also features a modular payload system.




Past Platforms


Research RHex: Research RHex is the product of a multi-year DARPA program studying simple yet effective legged locomotion.
Desert RHex: A modified Research RHex robot for use in adverse desert terrains, deployed during tests to the Mojave Desert in 2009.
EduBot is a RHex platform adapted for education, and actively used in classroom settings at the University of Pennsylvania.
SandBot: SandBot is a hexapedal robot akin to EduBot, used by colleagues at Georgia Tech to study methods of traversing sand using a legged robot

Commercial Robots

Rugged RHex: A rugged version of the RHex robot is produced by Boston Dynamics, Inc.