Let Us Build a Handmade Hexapod Robot




About: My name is Dogan. I'm a Robotics PhD student at Oregon State University. I love building robots and its my life :) I built a giant ATAT Walker, I love biking, scuba diving, playing violin and preparing shor...

You will be able to build this robot with handcrafting.

Watch the videos of the robot. You can build it in any size (don't exaggerate - there is always a limit)

Let us prepare necessary materials.


Step 1: Prepare Necessary Materials !

Let me talk about hardware first

As a hardware you need

1) 18 servo motors. You can see the link of the servos by clicking here. They will have additional connection parts and we will need them.

2) 3 or 5 mm PVC Foam board sometimes it called "forex" for building body and necessary supporting components. You can see it from my pictures

3) Servo cord extender. You can find it easy I guess.

4) Mini Maestro 24-Channel USB Servo Controller. I bought it from poll. Click here to see it.

5) 7.2V Li-po or corresponding battery (for powering up servos)

6) 4 AA 1.5V batteries. (for powering up servo controller)

7) Thin stick woods for kite building

Now it is time for software

As a Software what you need

1) I used 3D CAD programming called Inventor, You will need one

2) Download the software of servo controller from the link here.

Tools what you will need

1) Hot glue gun and sticks (magical tool)

2) Screw drivers

3) utility knife

4) steel ruler

5) pen pencil :)

6) copy paper

7) other necessary stuff you may need

Step 2: What Is the Logic Behind ?

See the first picture to get a glimpse of how we are going to connect our robot's joints. I found that picture on the web. In the second picture you will understand the walk pattern of our robot. Very simple ? This pattern is going to make our robot walk.

Additionally don't forget the download user manual of servo controller. And read it ! here is the link

By reading it you will see the necessary connections and how to operate it. We will need this knowledge in hand.

Step 3: Autodesk Inventor Drawings and Design of Our Robot

This part is up to you.

You can change its shape, body, size and everything. Don't forget to be proportional. Also be careful! each leg of your robot must touch the ground from one point, I made it with two points and it is increasing friction, which you don't want to have.

Also consider the size of your servos and create the servo holes accordingly.

After modeling your robot print the front, top or right views of the parts in the exact sizes. We will use them in the next step with copy paper.

I uploaded my 3D drawings in stl. formats.

Step 4: Handcrafting Time

After printing necessary views, you should draw them on top of PVC foam board with the help of copy paper. Then cut them with your favorite tool. See the picture above.

Step 5: Preparation of the Legs

As you can see from the pictures, build the legs. But don't forget my mistake! Your legs should touch the ground from one point.

Glue the parts and attach them together. Use kite woods in the necessary weak points that you have observed.You will notice that servos are connected to joints from bots ends. You will see how I do it in the next step.

Of course you should prepare six legs :) In the picture you can see six legs. But there servos on each. What ? don't worry. I will come to that point in the following steps. Just create legs with one servos.

Step 6: Balancing Servos and Preparing Joint Connections

I glued simple broken plastic gears on the back part of the servos and insert little mils into them. See the pictures.

After placing mils I connect the legs with upper part of the legs. See the pictures. You may use different methods as well. Let me know how you do it :)

Step 7: Preparing Main Body

By using your own drawings from the inventor and after printing necessary front, top or right views, draw them on top of PVC foam board with the help of copy paper. Later cut it out. Of course you should do it twice and put kite woods in between plates for creating a strong body.

Step 8: Connect Body and Legs

First of all you should attach servos into body. See the first picture. After that you should glue another servo on top of it. Again to understand what I am saying see the picture. In this process you will need kite woods again.

After placing servos into body, it is time for connecting legs into body. See the pictures again.

Step 9: Insert Battery Packs, Connect Electronics and Cables

After all the steps now it is time for vessels. Our big battery should be connected into servos and small batteries 4 x 1.5V AA should be powering up servo controller. Do not forget to attach on/off button.

You must read the servo controller's manual or you may burn it ! Read pleaseeeee. :)

Step 10: Coding Time.

Hey we are almost there just hang on. For coding of this robot you don't need any coding knowledge. Software of servo controller will help us. Because it is using frames !!!!! and Real time !!!!

Open servo controllers program and connect your controller. But be really careful. When you connect servo controller into computer it will automatically take the servos into 0 degree. If you connect your robot's joints in any other degree each leg will do different movement and it may cause failure and your robot may harm itself. So be careful in this process.

After taking precautions create frames and arrange the angle of servos according to a timeline. You will see it in real time. Then create your movement story and deploy the created code by the program into your hexapod's servo controller. See my code in the picture. It was created by the program.

After your deployment you will be able to move your robot by predefined movements.

Step 11: HAVE FUN



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    29 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I am trying to print out the 3D models as flat 2D but am unable to get a straight on view. Also, I would prefer to print them at about the same size you did. Could you give me an approx size for each or provide a flat 2D print of the files? I would much appreciate that! <3

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry but I couldn't Understand. К сожалению, я не знаю, России


    Reply 3 years ago

    where the scheme? where the code?


    Reply 3 years ago

    Где схема? Где код?


    3 years ago

    Great Project. It's possible include .dxf files? Tks


    3 years ago on Introduction

    congrats, it is a very nice design! I am also in the process of building/designing an hexapod. I am planning to use pvc 1mm C section plates for the structure, a raspberry pi and 2x pca9685 as servo controllers. Do you have any experience with pca9685? why did you choose the mini maestro?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you :) I don't have any experience with pca9685.

    I choose mini maestro because it has a nice interface for servo control. Also it has something like storyline. For example for the first frame you can set servos into your desired positions then in the second frame you can set your servos into another desired position. When you play storyline it follows your frames. No need for forward & inverse kinematics if you don't know what they are. Mini maestro was too easy to control hexapod


    4 years ago

    For those of us not gifted in the coding department, could you upload the files?

    3 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    As I said :D there is no coding. What you see in the coding step was generated by the servo controller's software. Please read the manual of servo controller and setup the windows file. After opening the software, you will see what I mean. Controller interface / coding interface is something like this.


    Reply 4 years ago

    aaaah I see I thought you wrote that urself


    4 years ago

    Also if you can share the model or STLs we can scale up as needed.