Picture of Simple Walker Robot

Building a simple walking robot is really easy. Don't let the number of steps fool you into believing otherwise. This robot is basically made with a handful of household items and some simple electronics that you can easily pick up at Radioshack. In fact, this robot is entirely zip tied together, which makes building it and modding it extremely easy. If at any point you are unhappy with how its built, cut the zip ties away and zip tie it together differently.

The "brains" of this robot are also easily modifiable since it is based on an Arduino development board. Programming it and changing the code is extremely straight-forward. Even people with no programming experience can usually get up to speed pretty quickly and start coding their own robotic routines.

For me, this robot was mainly an experiment to see what would happen if I built a full-on robot that was like one of the many Simple Bots that I have built. It was interesting to see how much more robust one of these creatures become when you give it some computer logic.
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Step 1: Go get stuff

Picture of Go get stuff
You will need:

(x4) Rubber spatulas
(x2) 6" turnbuckles
(x1) 2" x 48" aluminum ruler
(x1) Ballpoint pen
(x1) 4-40 x 1/4" nut and bolt
(x1) Arduino Uno REV 3 (Radioshack #276-128)
(x2) Parallax 4-6VDC Standard Servo (Radioshack #273-441)
(x2) 3x1 male header pins (strips of 40 available in Radioshack #277-077)
(x1) Parallax Ping Sensor (Radioshack #276-136)
(x1) Heavy-Duty 9V Snap Connectors (Radioshack #270-324)
(x1) 9-Volt Battery Holder (Radioshack #270-326)
(x1) Size M Coaxial DC Power Plug (Radioshack #274-1569)
(x1) Multipurpose PC Board with 417 Holes (Radioshack #276-150)
(x1) 90-Ft. UL-Recognized Hookup Wire (Radioshack #278-1221)
(x1) Enercell® Alkaline 9 Volt Battery (Radioshack #25-853)
(x1) 5-1/2" Zip Ties (Radioshack #278-1631)

Step 2: Saw

Picture of Saw
Get a 2" wide aluminum ruler.

Cut a 10" section off one end using a hacksaw.
robobot31121 month ago

nice.and smart

Tankos4 months ago

For some reason the robot walks fine going backwards but not forward. Any suggestions on how to fix this problem? Thanks!

aakashsunkari4 months ago

Great job! Now RadioShack is using your idea (Don't worry, they gave you you full credit) on their D.I.T idea brochures!

makesomeso5 months ago

nice robot. Its somewhat more than a simple robot. good work, keep it up.

johnrinker10 months ago

Thanks for the clear instructions to this amazing robot. It's the first I've ever tried to build. One question: I have a SainSmart HC-SR04 ping sensor that came with my Arduino. It's got 4 pins instead of the 3 on yours. They are marked 'vcc', 'echo', 'trig' and 'GND'. I'm assuming the 'vcc' is power and 'echo' is the signal. I've no idea what the 'trig' does. Any ideas if this sensor will work for the walker bot?
randofo (author)  johnrinker10 months ago
echo/trig are done by a single pin on my sensor. If you look at the code you will see the pin is toggled between an input and output. To make it work with your sensor, instead of changing the role of the pin, simply assign the roles to two seperate pins.
johnrinker randofo10 months ago
I think I found the answer the connecting the echo/trip pins to a single input on the Arduino here:
As soon as I get my breadboard I'll give it a go with your sketch, and change your pingPin assignment to = 12. See what happens!
johnrinker randofo10 months ago
If the echo/trig are connected on the busboard, can they share the white wire from the servos? If not, any suggestions on how I might connect them to the servos separately?
johnrinker randofo10 months ago
Thanks very much for your reply; very helpful! This will provide a good opportunity to learn how the code really works. I'm working now on the physical connections of pins and wires. Cheers.
AT9081 year ago
I'm very new to electronics and especially arduino, and i'm having trouble finding '3x1 male header pins' in the UK.
Are they known as something else? Can someone point me in the right direction please?
I apologise if this is a really n00b question, just bear with me i'm learning hah.
randofo (author)  AT9081 year ago
They are usually sold in long strips and then broken into small bits.
AT908 randofo1 year ago
Sorry to be a pain but is this the same thing?

if not, why?

randofo (author)  AT9081 year ago
No. That type has that plastic side wall. That might interfere with the servos being plugged in... or it might not... hard to say.

I'd try to find one without the side wall.
So I got an Arduino and I want to build a walker like this but with one servo instead of two. (That's all I have. :I) I was also going to use two antennae instead of a ping sensor. What do you think would be the best way to go about building it with one servo. (It would have a tail that drags.) I have built one with the servo mounted in the front but it tipped crazily from side to side while moving forward.
Any ideas?
rimar20002 years ago
that he is
vc pode me ajudar com meu projeto?
Untold2 years ago
I am so excited by this, I have been meaning to play with Arduino for ages. It will be my first robot! Parts are on order!
bajablue2 years ago
OMG... it's the legendary Spatula Foot!!! ;-D

Excellent work, Randofo!!!
'spatula bot'
lumi30052 years ago
Haha, cool little walker. Well done!
HollyMann2 years ago
My son will love this. He loves Robots and would be so happy to create one. I have no experience at all - so this is perfect. Thanks!
randofo (author)  HollyMann2 years ago
You should check out Simple Bots. They are about as easy to make as this one and don't require any programming, so are a little easier to get started with.

If he ends up making something, please do post a picture.
Thank you SO much! I will check it out now. :) I will definitely post a picture once it's done..this sounds like a good project to do this son is 7 but really smart so whatever I don't understand, he'll figure it out!
vaporizer2 years ago
If I squint my eyes at this then I can imagine these things strolling down the street - like a non-threatening version of the "War of the Worlds" with their cute pink feet.
Maybe in the Spatula Bot movie; right, Randy?

Nice job!
liked your smile at 0:52... :D

And very professional video too.
You have my vote
rimar20002 years ago

Can you make it to walk faster? I think it might be a good joke, many people would be scared to see it come unexpectedly.
randofo (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Yes. It can go faster. At some point I just set it to that speed for testing, and never changed it. I should reprogram it to go faster.
Please, do it and post a video! With your girlfriend, mom or aunt being surprised by it...
WWC2 years ago
Great use of common items. Sometime i try to over think a project and it gets to complicated. Thats why the zip ties ect are such a great idea. I see an industrial version used in the baking industries for robotic bowl scrapers. Joking of course.
iceng2 years ago
Impressive Engineering use of of non-robotic components.

LIKE :¬|)     A
caitlinsdad2 years ago
You should ask scooch to add some ribbons on the feet paddles. They look like a ballerina-bot. Does it do a pirouette? Dancing with the robots?
randofo (author)  caitlinsdad2 years ago
Not yet. Working on version 2.