Pegleg the six-legged (hexapod) robot – part 1, introduction

barely walking robot

The first iteration – Smooth floors only.

Late in the year 2000 after watching Battlebots, I decided that I needed my own robot.  While the price of a Battlebot proved too high, both in terms of materials, access to machine tools, and radio remote control knowledge, I found another robot that seemed like it would be within reach.  In these pre-youtube days, finding the “bs2-6-bot” on this page looked like a robot that wouldn’t break the bank, but would still be very impressive given it’s six-legged walking style.  As there were only a few pictures to work with, it was a challenge figuring out how to make it, but after a week or two of work and around $200, I had a working robot.

pegleg hexapod 3d model

3D model of Pegleg (top removed)


Pegleg’s distant ancestor “BS2-6-bot”

This robot did work in the sense that it could crawl on a very smooth surface for a little while before either the paper-clip linkages broke, something unscrewed, or there was another random breakage.  Clearly I had a lot to learn about building a robot that worked well.  I would learn much of the sills needed to make this a good robot, including machine tools, CAD, and even some kinematic analysis techniques over the next year as an engineering student and intern.

Gradually, and after about $100 of new parts, this ‘bot transformed from a very shoddy robot-shaped-object into something that I could actually be proud of.  It was even chosen to represent Clemson University at a regional engineering conference (this wasn’t done as a project for school, but I entered it anyway).

robot side view final assembly

View of Pegleg from the side after all the improvements done

In the next few posts I will try to give you the basics that you would need to build a robot like Pegleg.  Possibly you’ll instead be inspired to come up with something on your own.  Four more posts are planned including: construction, prints, and bill of materials, walking and linkage analysis (kinematics is the technical term), and servo control and robot programming.  This “hexobot” robot isn’t currently functional, so if I get around to it, maybe I’ll have another post on restoring it to functionality and/or how it does versus my dog Evie.


  1. Using GIMP to make .gif animated project illustrations | JCOPRO.NET - pingback on December 29, 2010 at 12:19 am
  2. Improving a hexapod design - Hack a Day - pingback on January 15, 2011 at 4:42 pm
  3. Using GIMP to make .gif animated project illustrations | - pingback on February 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm
  4. Servo City and off-the-shelf Servo Brackets | JCOPRO.NET - pingback on September 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm
  5. Old School Update: December 2010 | JCOPRO.NET - pingback on July 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm
  6. A Large Hexapod Made of Wood and PVC - pingback on July 29, 2012 at 12:05 am
  7. Remote Control a Windshield Wiper Motor with a PWM Switch - pingback on August 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm
  8. How to Easily Connect a Hobby Servo to a Breadboard - pingback on February 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm
  9. Windshield Wiper Motor Use for Robotics - pingback on February 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm

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