5 legged locomotion

When designing legged robots, we generally see an even number of legs. Mainly, we think, it is due to us modelling things after nature. But with robotics, you’re free to do whatever you want. [Iketomu-san] has built this unsettling 5 legged robot out of parts he had lying around. The gait is fairly interesting. He mentions that it could be used for robot fighting, where the odd leg would serve as a prop from behind and the two legs up front could be weapons. What kind of gait or use can you come up with for this thing?


  1. Spork says:

    I prefer this to the 3 servo hexapod that was posted recently, which had 6 legs but much more limited motion. The zero turn radius on this robot is a major advantage in my book.

  2. andrew says:

    Cool. I wonder what he’s sending over radio.. Specific servo positions? Or, direction info with the occasional instruction to use a different pre-programmed gait?

  3. Hackius says:

    I’m so building that tripod I had on the drawing board so many years.

  4. herbicide says:

    I expected it to stand up, near the end.

  5. Brian says:

    This thing reminds me of a poison headcrab zombie *shudders*

  6. Dielectric says:

    Put a glove on it. It’s Thing T. Thing!

  7. LuciusMare says:

    Walking alarm clock!

  8. Stranger says:

    the fifth leg seems a little useless, it always held one stiff and drug it along. the only time it used all five was in turning, which it could of pulled of with four. using it for a prop when fighting makes sense. with more complex walking patterns could make use of the extra leg too (can’t imagine that easy tho).

  9. _aa_ says:

    I am reminded that kangaroos walk with five legs.

    Of course, when running, this changes to two legs.

  10. itsme says:

    so it’s a biped that needs three stabilizers cause it can’t balance?

  11. Andar_b says:

    This thing reminds me of this guy I saw once, he must have been an acrobat or something, he wore a mask and a mannequin head between his legs, and would alternate between walking on hands and feet.

    Anyway, the motion reminded me for some reason.

  12. mooneyj says:

    Need to put this things motion through some evolutionary algorithms, then we can see its capabilities.

  13. Jack Sprat says:

    How about moving in a sort of sideways cartwheel motion? Not sure the arms move fast enough to pull that off though. The 5th arm makes the robot appear dysfunctional when it just drags it along.

  14. Torque says:

    Definitely agree the gait needs work, didn’t really see any that I’d call a true pentapedal(?) motion, always working in pairs or as a support. Nice project though, and an intriguing concept, can’t wait to see the next iteration

  15. sasquatchking says:

    I would have to say this is modeled from nature. The 5th leg is certainly nothing new, though we generally call it a tail.

  16. Fallen says:


  17. smoker_dave says:


    Agreed, five is definitely more of a “natural” number than four or six. Everything else in nature (plants, fruits, vegetables) is based on the Fibonacci series of which five is a part.

  18. PKM says:

    I agree with Stranger, Torque- this isn’t what I’d call walking with five legs, it uses the back four (looking a bit like a gorilla to me) with the front one dragging.

    I’d prefer to see it move one leg at a time going around the body, either sequentially or 1-3-5-2-4. Three are enough to balance on, so it should theoretically be able to always have two off the ground…

  19. Panikos says:

    fifth appendage makes me think of the scorpion tail. Invert it and use as such for tool/weapon :)

  20. robomonkey says:

    I’m thinking insect like locomotion in the same way that an ant can manipulate all 3 segments, just without the segments.

  21. Jim Foster says:

    You should name him “draggy”. Pretty cool though, I’m sure 5 legs is pretty difficult to program.

  22. barry99705 says:


    I was thinking the same thing, though I’ve never seen how a starfish moves.

  23. markii says:

    is this thing gonna come and get me?

  24. Boudico says:

    I don’t understand why so many bot builders neglect a simple and cheap part… A small piece of rubber or neoprene on the ends of the feet. That thing seems to waste much of it’s energy with slips/slides. The concept is interesting however.

  25. Drake says:

    Why use genetic programming when you can use your hand … better yet make it look like a hand and freak people out

    Like thing from Adams Family

    or a Floormaster/Wallmaster from Zelda. That my good sir would kick ass

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