Here's a video of it in action.

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Have you completed this instructable?  Send me pictures and I'll add it on this page!

When completed, you will have a walking robot that is about 2 feet wide and stands as much as a foot tall.  It has lots of room for added features and improvements so feel free to use it for your own robotics experiments or share your improvements with others.

Build time is about 3-5 hours and it is not the easiest project.  You could burn yourself.  You could electrocute yourself.  You could fry the circuits and let the magic smoke out.  There is no warranty.  SO:  Take breaks.  Wash your hands.  Drink lots of water.

Tools and supplies you will need (not listed in the bill of materials):
  • a soldering iron
  • large phillips screwdriver
  • small slotted screwdriver
  • pliers
  • wire strippers
  • helping hands (optional, and very helpful)
  • windows PC (with optional bluetooth)
  • USB cable (think the square style that usually goes in a printer)
  • electrical tape
Skills you will need (or learn as you go):
  • wire stripping
  • soldering

TIP: Get a friend or SO to help! "I hold the part while you screw this bit here, then we switch."

Step 1: Acquiring materials

Option 1: get all the parts yourself
Most of the parts listed here can be obtained at your local electronics store.
DisplayDuino and ServoBoard are sold through Sparkfun.com.
Source code and DXF files for unique parts are available online from http://visual-hexapod.sourceforge.net/
You will have to the parts yourself.  I used 2mm Acrylic though you may want to try aluminum or some other material.  I recommend a CNC machine.
Some of the parts come from lynxmotion.  Shipping costs vary.

If you download the source code you will find the DXF part files in /trunk/other/part layout.dxf

Option 2: get all the parts in a kit
It costs more but it's a lot more convenient.  The extra money will fund further developments of your robot and other future robots.

get the kit

Editor's note: I did a search among the online hexapod retailers I know.  For the equivalent closed-source kit you'd either pay about £630 or $1200, depending on who your order from.  I'm offering the full kit + shipping for $999.  Don't take my word for it - if you find a better price, send me a private message please!
<p>Hi! I liked your explanation, and I have to do one of this for the school, but i really don't know anything about programing, and its a bit difficult to me because english is not my mother tongue. Could you help me please?</p>
<p>Great Article! Thank you.</p>
<p>can you please provide me 16 sevo arduino code for six leg hexapod </p>
<p>Nice! Do you think it's possible to make legs 400-1000% longer by making your own 3D printed legplates? I realize the servos have a limited torque and that some parameters in the control software must be adjusted.</p>
<p>These servos are already at their limit. The motoro power needed to extend the legs grows as a power rate (length*length). Then there's the battery for the power to move the legs, and the weight of the frame. Ever wonder why there are so few 10-foot spiders? </p>
which chip or ic shuld i use
<p>The arduino shield I used is no longer manufactured. I'm working on a replacement.</p>
<p>hai, may i know how much servo motor u are using in this project? its possible if I'm using 2 motor servo for each leg?</p>
<p>I designed this project with 18 servos. cost about $300 for all of them. No plans for 12 servo version. Try and see!</p>
Greating, <br>Such a great work, I can only be amazed by the good quality you've giving to this robot. <br>Can you please direct me to a site where I can buy Displayduino baord ans ServoBaod, I've checked in Sparkfun.com and other sites in vain, I can't find them there :/ I can only find MondoMatrix - XBee Shield I'm not sure that it's gonna work. Maybe you could sell them to me separately for the kit. <br>I'll be so greatfull, thank's in advance. Please excuse my poor english.
Thank you! I check with supplier and they no longer make DisplayDuino boards. <br>I will try to find a replacement. When I do I will post it to my official blog.
You didn't use a ball bearing for the base of the 'shoulders'? I noticed you used M4 screws instead but how did you get it so that there's no friction?
Actually... I didn't worry about the friction. It didn't seem to matter. Yes, a bearing should have been done to do it &quot;right&quot;, but I didn't find there was a need.
hey..i jus started to make my hexapod for my final year project...Can u pls guide me in the making of this machine ........ <br>My mail i.d is abdullahsultan1991@gmail.com........Pls if u fins some time...pls gude...i surely need sm help..... <br>
I'm in the middle of trying to start my own company. If you want to send me email you can, dan@marginallyclever.com. If I can help I will. Good luck cutting the parts and finding the same electronics!
And you just attached it with a hex nut as well?
I can't find them, some help would be most appreciated.
Could you please send me the DXF files to mateo.galceran@gmail.com, I can't find them on http://visual-hexapod.sourceforge.net/. I would really appreciate it.
Please look harder. They're in one of the subdirectories. Sorry, I don't have it open in front of me.
can you shared the source code? I can't find it<br><br>best regard.<br>edy
The source code is at http://visual-hexapod.sourceforge.net/ You need to be familiar with SVN.<br><br>svn co https://visual-hexapod.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/visual-hexapod visual-hexapod <br><br>or online at <br><br>http://visual-hexapod.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/visual-hexapod/
can you use the control system with a joystick
Yes, I've done it with a PS2 but it could also be done with a flight joystick.
What CAD program did you use? And, are those files also open source?
Hi Aggrav8d, I'm having a look but I can't find the source code to run the hexapod. All I can find on sourceforge is a Windows program that I can't run (I'm using Linux) <br>Did I missed something?
Yes. there's a v8.pde, that's the arduino code.<br><br>Most of the application should compile in linux or OSX if you create a build script. The only part you'll have to rewrite is the serial library that sends messages to the arduino.<br><br>Good x-platform question!
Thank you Aggrav8d, I've finally use SVN to download the source code.<br>I can tell you must have spend some time on it. Thanks for sharing. This is a really nice project!<br>I will be working on a similar hexapod during the next 6 month, I have a few idea to reduce the price a bit (student budget...)<br>Also I will release my code in about 6 month, if it is good enough for sharing it.<br>Stay tuned ;)
It took me about 6 weeks to get the first version working. However, I didn't fix the last ripple walk bug until almost 2 months after that! So.<br><br>I strongly recommend you build a virtual model of your robot like I did and test things there before you spend money on hardware that might not work - or worse, break itself the first time you turn it on! I lost three $15 servos that way.<br><br>Good luck!
I am currently building the 3D model on my computer.<br>I have chosen the electronic components but I'm waiting to finish the mechanical design before I purchase anything.<br>I have some issue with the weight. On my computer, my current design weight over 1.7kg... I'm trying to reduce it to 1kg without batteries...<br>How did you manage the weight? Did your servo had enough torque to handle it?
&quot;building the 3d model on [your] computer&quot;?<br>If you just need the part models, I released DXF files as part of the sourceforge project.<br><br>In all honesty I didn't worry about the weight. I figured if it couldn't lift itself I would shave extra metal off of the frame later. The final weight with the battery is 2.3kg in my model so you're doing pretty good.
I finally made it :-)<br>I posted a video on youtube: http://youtu.be/3SEzLQic7Sg<br>I'm still planning to release all my work (CAD + Code) but I've a few things to do before. I'll be in touch if anyone is interested.<br>Btw, the total weight of my robot is about 2.3kg so the servos I'm using are a bit weak for the job, but it still work, fewwww :-)
Congratulations! I am blogging your success
Went to Sourceforge link and there are definitely no .dxf files to be found. Please update link:).
you definitely didn't download the SVN package, which contains the DXF :)
I have never seen resistors rated in hurt (10 kilo hurzt being 10khz), is this an error or am i really missing something?
What have you seen them rated in?
In ohms.
me too
How much weight could one of these carry? It would be cool to mount a camera and an airsoft gun on top.
Nope. Mechs are bipedal.
Smashing things is boring, wasteful, and pointless. Making things is much more fun. Making things that make things is exponentially better.
What about making things to smash things? Or better yet, make them explode!
...Or! Making something that smashes things, that becomes self aware and sees the moral dilemma of its destructive behavior, then proceeds to promote world automaton peace. Then, realizing it (he) does not belong in the human or robotics realm, turns to a hermit existence, where he (George) proceeds to write his memoires, detailing out the duality of his 'mortal' occupation. <br>...I'm tellin ya. Call Hollywood. :)
I tried. The PR robot wasn't interested. Said I needed a hook.
so i can still make my own version with my equipment as soon as i get a video camera
i can try to make a movie of that ll it wwill be alot shorter thanks i will give you a copy of it if i ever get around to it cause i might not make ant thing at all
actually mech warfare lets u have a biped or a quadruped and in the novice classe any legged machine including tracks and wheels so u could enter in novice class Ive been thinking about doing an event were i live bu i figured no on would show up cause im thirteen (yes im gonna build a quadruped programming an all by myself)
Well then the biggest challenge you'll face at the start is that no one will take you seriously. On the internet proper spelling and punctuation will make people think you are more mature and ready to do the work. The thing that will seal the deal is building a robot. I wish you good luck! I couldn't invest that much time, energy, money, and love into something just to watch it get destroyed.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I want to make a living through robotics and inventing. I don't get to travel enough.
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