Fast Little Hexapods


We’ve posted many many times about hexapods. One of the most common comments, aside from how creepy they are, is about their speed. Hexapods are generally pretty slow. These little bots are quite a bit different though. The Sprawl and iSprawl, are anything but slow. Using a hybrid leg mechanism that aims its piston like “toes”, they mimic the motion of cockroaches. The video shows the speed can be pretty quick, especially the iSprawl in the second half. The leg mechanism the Sprawl is air powered, while the iSprawl uses a push/pull cable transmission system. As pointed out at BotJunkie, it’s nice for the “i” in iSprawl to actually mean something. It stands for “independent”.

[via BotJunkie]

19 thoughts on “Fast Little Hexapods

  1. Also, making it go in reverse is trivial at this point in the build progress, it wouldn’t be hard for them to add the ability. btw i agree with you atrain on the getting stuck part (why it needs reverse). other than that this thing is SWEET!

  2. Sure, it has six legs and it can scurry pretty fast, and I’m not denying that’s really cool, but it’s not nearly as articulate as some of the other hexapods we’ve seen. You could probably get a servo-based hexapod to mimic the gait, but I’m not sure the servos could move fast enough to get the whole thing up to the same speed.

    What I want to see is something like a spider; fine mother control (web building) and high speed (OMG it’s chasing me!)

  3. backwards or not, I want a gyro stabilized cam for the thing. sort of like what the a-pod had for its grippers and tail. it’ll be interesting to see the toys that come from this not to mention its possible uses for search and rescue.

  4. Here is a thought, why not build a hybrid with pistons on servo articulated legs? And as for reverse, it seems as if it would be as simple as altering the angle of attack on the pistons and reversing the firing sequence. At this point I am sure they are going for proof of concept and/or refining the locomotion mechanics. The issue of reverse is really just a matter of added capability, not major design change. But while we are on the subject, I have wanted to see someone attach wheels and motors to a hexapod’s legs to give it high speed capabilities. (excuse me if this has been done as i very well believe it has) The simple truth is that high speed would be reserved for flatish terrain, of which a wheel would suffice. When encountering un even terrain the unit would switch to a walking gait and use the wheels as feet or just move them out of the way.

    But I digress, the sprawl bots are inspired, very cool tech.

  5. well, this is creepy. im officially in favor of legislation capping the top speed of robots to something slower than a human. seriously, are you people trying to create the robocalypse?

  6. design is focused on flat surfaces – it would fail in tall grass or sand. Wheels are better on flat surfaces. But the direction is correct, we need to build more crap mimicking nature.

  7. blah no edit button.
    Just to add, it appears to be floating on the surface like a hovercraft, but instead of air pushing it there are six very fast pistons. You can see that its not really turning like a car, but like a boat – switches direction first and then fights the inertia.

    cant really think of other uses (other than ‘OMG a giant bug’ one)

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