After getting some level of electronics and programming skills using different controllers, any maker decides to build something different. Something more interesting than a simple robot on wheels.
This is the fun in the DIY culture. In this area, anyone can build a variety of robots without worrying about becoming boring. For instance, in this case, are the exciting hexapod robots.
The communities of makers all over the world come with tons of projects and platforms to enhance the experience of building things. More than that, these projects are good teaching lessons to improve the skills of other hobbyists.
There are countless ways to use a six-leg robot. Fortunately, there are plenty of useful tutorials and guides to help you with your own custom implementation.
This post serves as a collection of useful hexapod projects in a wide variety of ways. You’ll find tutorials and guides on working with servo motors, Arduino or other controllers, creating parts, working with sensors and more.
Stubby is the first robot hexapod presented in this post and is a six-leg platform designed by Wyatt Olson and a team of young engineers. This platform is engineered as a learning platform for a small team of kids to teach them the importance of programming and electronics.
All the files and documentation is available for free, and several other hackers and makers take the advantage and build their own custom version of the hexapod.
The robot is controlled wireless from a Universal Controller or via PC. All six legs are working in a perfectly synchronous to walk in almost any direction, rotate or pitch the body. If the movements of the robot are controlled via human inputs, the servo motors are controlled with an ATMega 1284 microcontroller.
The designer shows every step to build the robot including schemas, components, how to assemble the components, programming and how to calibrate each leg.
This robot with computer vision is one of the most realistic hexapod robots that I have ever seen. Designed by David Henderson, the insect-like walking robot runs autonomously and can track any object colored in pink.
The vision system can detect the object as well as the distance to the object. If the object is too close to it, the plastic and metal spider moves away from it.
As you can see in the video presentation, the bot has smooth movements and is capable of reacting at any action that comes from the user side.
The designer Kevin Ochs builds the giant spider machine named Golem. This project was built to test the auto leveling function of the body using an IMU sensor. Additional, the spider machine can respond to speech commands.
The giant spider has 76.2 cm (2.5 feet) in diameter and even it has an aluminum body, it weighs 7.3 Kg (16 pounds).
I really want to mention here that the brain of the robot is an Intel 4th Gen i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and 120GB SSD. The Intel NUC D54250 motherboard runs Linux Ubuntu OS with all code written in C++ and based on ROS framework.
Even it is featured with a camera, orientation and a perception sensor, the Golem is controlled wirelessly via a Sony Playstation 3 controller.
In this guide, the user Gertlex shows you how to build a simple and efficient 3-servo-hexapod able to walk like any other spider robot on flat surfaces.
A Wixel board controls the three servo motors while the movements are controlled remotely via an Arbotix Commander.
Since only three servo motors run all six legs, the main advantage of this platform is the price, which is cheaper to build, compared with other projects.
Halloween, scary, spider robot. It is the perfect recipe to scare or entertain the neighbor children on Halloween night. The designer Duane Degn built the ‘Dracula’ platform with common components purchased from eBay while servos are from HobbyKing and a controller from Parallax Propeller. The Parallax controller can control all 22 servos.
Using HXT900 servos and a lot of ideas, the same engineer Duane Degn build another cheap, simple hexapod robot controllable with a Q4 remote control made expressly for controlling hexapods.
The user can control the speed and the direction of the robot. In this guide, you find the details how to build the platform.
Hexapod Robot based on FPGA
This spider robot was built by Costaud designer and was inspired by the Japanese toy robot model called Kondo KMR-M6.
In the Instructables tutorial, the user shows you how to build every single leg of the robot, attach all twelve DC servo motors and control these with an FPGA chip.
The platform is extensible and the framework is programmable so that you can build your own custom hexapod robot.
The Arduino microcontroller is the brain of this handmade DIY hexapod robot built by the Instructables user Deividmaxx. The mechanical spider is cheap and has only 2 degrees of freedom. In the tutorial, the designer explains how to build the insect based on the Arduino microcontroller and Sg90 servo motors.
Simple 18dof Hexapod
The 18DOF six-leg robot was built in the MIT labs by an engineer with the code-name Orangenarwhals. The robot runs autonomously and is designed in the KISS (keep it stupidly simple) style. As you can see in the tutorial, the platform is based on the Arduino Nano and optional can be used a Pololu Maestro servo controller.
Arduino Hexapod Avoider Robot
Again the Arduino controller is used to control a six-leg spider robot. Equipped with ultrasonic sensors and driven by 12 servos, the six-leg bot can see all or nearly all of the objects around it at once. The body is built with Acrylic materials, and it’s powered by a 3300 mAh Li-po power source. In the tutorial, you find the components and steps to build the robot.
Built by Arcbotics, the Hexy is a DIY Hexapod kit designed to learn concepts such as inverse kinematics and to interact with hardware components. It’s an open-source platform based on Arduini microcontroller that runs a Python program.
The robot is driven by 19-servo motors powered by an Arduino and can be customized for your needs.