A walking robot using programmable springs

This is a simple demonstration of how programmable spring actuators can be used to create a set of robot legs with in-built stepping reflexes. The robot ‘walks’ when it is pulled along on its leash. All the behaviour is embedded in the actuators. When a leg is perturbed beyond a limit, the shoulder actuator sends a binary signal to the knee actuator, which lifts the leg off the ground. The leg drops back when it has swung forward far enough. When one leg takes a step it will also send a signal to suppress the stepping reflex in the other leg, which stops them both stepping at the same time.

For more details about Programmable Spring Actuators go to:
And you can find a page about how this robot works via the Videos page on my site, or through here:
I also have a page on the Brighton Robotics Community website here:

Duration : 0:2:46

[youtube _g79mOSvSsE]

22 thoughts on “A walking robot using programmable springs

  1. It’s like the …
    It’s like the hunchback of robots. Ugly thing that walks with wheels? Lol.

  2. Ahahahaha it …
    Ahahahaha it doesn’t make sense at all!

    TheTwelfthDoctor has the point……
    wheels? but it walks…… ahahahah lol!
    and you need to drag it…… i think i should buy a remote car instead of ur robot….. this is not fun…….

  3. “Where are you …
    “Where are you going, honey?”
    “I’m taking the robot out for a drag.”

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  5. You get benefits if …
    You get benefits if it is walking over uneven ground as well because it can compensate – it doesn’t need sensors to detect of the legs are touching the ground because the servos can be programmed to measure and respond to the weight of the robot.

  6. The robot has …
    The robot has virtual springs controlling the lifting of its legs, if you made one with six legs you could program each to work like a suspension system with springs and damping and if you dropped your robot onto its feet from a few feet high it would just bounce – if you did that with normal servos you might well destroy them.

  7. It is a bit limited …
    It is a bit limited but you can easily add to the software so it can walk on its own. The purpose of this bot was to demonstrate how you can do lots of interesting things when you have control over compliance – how easily the servo responds to external forces.

  8. Nice. Maybe you …
    Nice. Maybe you could fabricate a seal skin to cover the skeleton. Instant Robot seal!

  9. Cool, although …
    Cool, although limited use since it needs to be pulled. I think someone could make a really cool robot pet that goes for walkies. =)

  10. Awesome. I looked …
    Awesome. I looked into this a few years ago using OpenServos w/ servo-savers as the elastic aspect, but never got very reliable results that way. I hope you are able to find a manufacturing and/or sales partner to distribute these, I would certainly buy a few.

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