Stubby, The Adorable And Easy To Build Hexapod


A while back, we had a sci-fi contest on Inspired by the replicators in Stargate SG-1, [The Big One] and a few other folk decided a remote-controlled hexapod would be a great build. The contest is long over, but that doesn’t mean development stopped. Now Stubby, the replicator-inspired hexapod is complete and he looks awesome.

The first two versions suffered from underpowered servos and complex mechanics. Third time’s the charm, and version three is a lightweight robot with pretty simple mechanics able to translate and rotate along the XYZ axes. Stubby only weights about 600 grams, batteries included, so he’s surprisingly nimble as well.

The frame of the hexapod is designed to be cut with a scroll saw, much to the chagrin of anyone without a CNC machine. There are three 9g servos per leg, all controlled with a custom board featuring an ATMega1284p and an XBee interface to an old Playstation controller.

Video of Stubby below, and of course all the sources and files are available on the project site.


  1. Anybodysguess says:

    I LOVE my scroll saw!
    I’d love my CNC much more if I had a CNC though……..

    And I just had a great Idea, I need to make a replicator to sit on my desk, an animation one that moves its wings occasionally.

  2. Jag says:

    If I had the funds to make one I’d immediately code it to run/gallop properly… That’s something I’ve never seen a hexapod do and I know they’re fully capable…

  3. Myndale says:

    Awesome build, can’t wait to take a peek at the source. How were you getting that many PWM signals out of a 1284p, in software with a timer interrupt?

  4. APBurner says:

    It says everything is cut with a scrollsaw. I can only find one picture with the components on it. Is there anywhere with individual component pictures so one can print them on a standard printer for scrollsaw templates.

    • Josh says:

      The Hack Projects page for this looks like it has an A4 page of part outlines to print.

    • The Big One says:

      On the hackaday page in main pictures I have a US letter sheet with all components: I used that to cut everything. Even better, for a PDF go to


      • The Big One says:

        Oh, and while on this topic: the printout works very well with a scroll saw, as the kerf (the width of the blade) is pretty much identical to the width of the printed lines, so if you just follow the lines you get perfectly cut parts. A #3 blade (which I used) is small enough to rotate within the kerf, so you can get 90 degree (or even less) cuts without needing to allow for tooling width.


    • The Big One says:

      I have a .dxf file in the repo (projects/stubby/frame/frame_3dof_radial.dxf) (the output of this is what I have shown on the website / PDF on my site). Each part is an object, and you can move them around as desired.


  5. mark429 says:

    chagrin? “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”

    • Nebulous says:

      That marks the fourth Princess Bride reference in three days, for me. I think it’s time to rewatch the movie.

      That said, I do believe you’re right. HAD-editors: You mean the exact opposite of ‘chagrin’ here. ‘Delight’ might be a good word.

    • nobody says:

      Yes. See

      “cha·grin (sh-grn)
      A keen feeling of mental unease, as of annoyance or embarrassment, caused by failure, disappointment, or a disconcerting event: To her chagrin, the party ended just as she arrived.”

    • Eirinn says:

      Came here to say exactly that, thx.

    • x3n0x says:

      Dunno you guys. Seems like they were taking a stab at the CNC crowd, i.e: ‘All you peeps with cnc machines, you thought you were cool until this guy came up with something awesome that doesn’t need one to be cut out’. I, for one, welcome a cool project that doesn’t require me to spend big $$ on a cnc machine just to build the pieces. I have dreams of building one about 2-3x the size with different materials and beefier servos, to terrorize the local fauna (read cats), and various RC vehicles that dare to show their chassis around my neck of the woods… Muhahahaha…

  6. The Big One says:

    FYI I have installed a web interface to my git repos… you can browse code online at;a=summary


  7. mattadlard says:

    Love this

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