Picture of Hexabot: Build a heavy duty six-legged robot!
This Instructable is going to show you how to build Hexabot, a large six-legged robot platform that is capable of carrying a human passenger! The robot can also be made fully autonomous with the addition of a few sensors and a little reprogramming.

I constructed this robot as a final project for Making Things Interactive, a course offered at Carnegie Mellon University.

Typically, most of the robotics projects I've done have been on the small scale, not exceeding a foot in their largest dimension. With the recent donation of an electric wheelchair to the CMU Robotics Club, I was intrigued by the thought of using the wheelchair motors in some sort of big project. When I brought up the idea about making a large-scale something with Mark Gross, the CMU professor who teaches Making Things Interactive, his eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. His response was "Go for it!"

With his approval, I needed to actually come up with something to build with these motors. Since the wheelchair motors were very powerful, I definitely wanted to make something that I could ride on. The idea of a wheeled vehicle seemed kind of boring, so I began thinking about walking mechanisms. This was somewhat challenging since I only had two motors at my disposal and still wanted to create something capable of turning, not just moving forwards and backwards. After some frustrating prototyping attempts, I began looking at toys on the internet to get some ideas. I happened to find the Tamiya Insect. It was perfect! With this as my inspiration, I was able to create CAD models of the robot and begin construction.

During the creation of this project, I was stupid and didn't take any pictures during the actual construction process. So, to create this Instructable, I took the robot apart and took pictures of the assembly process step-by-step. So, you may notice that holes appear before I talk about drilling them, and other little discrepancies that wouldn't exist if I had done this right in the first place!

Edit 1/20/09: I discovered that, for some reason, Step 10 had the exact same text as Step 4. This discrepancy has been corrected. Step 10 now tells you how to attach the motors, rather than telling you how to machine the motor linkages again. Also, thanks to Instructables for saving a history of edits, I was simply able to find an early version with the right text and copy/paste it in!
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pyrohaz1 year ago
This is an absolutely exceptional project! Seriously well done on it. :) Do you know how much it cost you by the end?
rpantaleo (author)  pyrohaz1 year ago

Thanks! Out of pocket expenses were under $200, but keep in mind I had a lot of parts donated (motors, batteries, steel tubing).

Hi rpantaleo! Question: What did you end up doing with it in the end? I'm looking to exit my hexarideablepod gracefully, so I'm thinking of scrapping it for parts. Did you just end up hanging it from the ceiling or leaving it with your department or something?
rpantaleo (author)  orangenarwhals2 years ago
I stripped the motors and batteries out and gave them back to the Robotics Club. The rest of the machine has been sitting in my garage for a couple years - I plan on turning it into a coffee table (welding the legs in place then putting a piece of plate glass on top).
thanks for the info! okay, I will probably take it apart for scrap steel and parts then.
TheGreatS2 years ago
This is AWESOME. If I can get a hold of the parts I'm totally doing this. I may want to invest in some shocks though...
ducttape992 years ago
How fast does it move with 24 V?
rpantaleo (author)  ducttape992 years ago
Never tried it. Probably about twice as fast?
beboboba3 years ago
you should put some tennis balls on tha feet so it doesn't scrape so much on tha floor.
ultralame3 years ago
Just posted a video of a build derived from this instructable

rpantaleo (author)  ultralame3 years ago
This is awesome! Great work!
mix9 rpantaleo3 years ago
@rpantaleo do you have dynamics calculations for finding minimum torque at the robot?
rpantaleo (author)  mix93 years ago
Unfortunately, I do not.
deobomb3 years ago
can this be made with just 2 batteries 2 motors and 2 seprate switches for the motors?
rpantaleo (author)  deobomb3 years ago
earies3 years ago
what a nice robot... i have a question about the motors. So those 2 motors are different type aren't it ? the one is for left side, and the other one for right side??

and those motors are for wheel chair motor? I'm from Indonesia , and I must think where can I find the motors.. please reply.. thank you very much
rpantaleo (author)  earies3 years ago
The motors are identical except for the gearbox. One has a gearbox that outputs to the left, the other to the right.

You may be able to find these motors on ebay.
mildsteel4 years ago
Wow awesome! This wheel chair is amazing; if you would add treaded feet and shock absorbers to the chair then it will much better.

Yes, very cool project.

Rubber treaded feet with absorbers was the first thing that came to mind for me too while watching the video
ZokiS4 years ago
I think that if you put rubber pegs on the legs, you might be getting better results considering movement!
mildsteel4 years ago
Wow awesome! This wheel chair is amazing; if you would add treaded feet and shock absorbers to the chair then it will much better.
sir please send microcontroler circuit
rpantaleo (author)  manojkumar60274 years ago
I'm afraid the only circuit/schematic I have is the one in Step 16. Sorry.
sir i am using two 12v 4Amps batteries those are sufficient for run the motor
rpantaleo (author)  manojkumar60274 years ago
If you plan on riding on it, no. Otherwise, it may work with no load on the robot.
not for riding on it ,if riding on it what is the capacity of batteries means voltage and current
rpantaleo (author)  manojkumar60274 years ago
One or two batteries like this should be sufficient.

circuit for connecting two motors
which micro controler is used for this project and also mention the number of micro controler
circuit board for connections
rpantaleo (author)  manojkumar60274 years ago
I used an older version of the Arduino Uno for this project. I used 4 digital input pins for the main control circuit. 
how to analyse this model in ansys for static and dynamic analysis
rpantaleo (author)  manojkumar60274 years ago
I haven't used ANSYS much, so I'm really not sure. I used SolidWorks to make the model, and SolidWorks has a built-in analysis program, which is what I would use.
2 3" 3/4-10 bolts what is this means
rpantaleo (author)  manojkumar60274 years ago
2 bolts, 3 inches in length, 3/4 inch diameter, 10 threads per inch.
thanxs dude
This is brilliant. I wonder how much better it would be if you would add treaded feet and shock absorbers to the chair (kind of like what they use on public buses.)

Build it bigger and with armor plating, you'd get the military's attention!!
where did you buy that mill and how much?
rpantaleo (author)  m5industriesinc4 years ago
I believe the mill was a donation from the CMU Robotics Institute machine shop. We didn't buy it.
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