Ever since the first videos of Boston Dynamics’ creations started showing up on the internet, I have been fascinated with legged robots. Back in 2013 I created a quadruped robot. The project progressed until the robot could stand and do some very basic walking. But it turned out to be really difficult to develop proper walking gaits and the servos seemed to struggle with the weight of the robot. The decision to go with four legs instead of six was mainly due to the cost of servo motors. However, six legged robots have a big advantage: Unlike quadrupeds they can lift three of their legs while the remaining legs form a stable tripod. This eliminates the need for constant weight shifting and balancing.
There are lots of Hexapods out there, ranging from small research projects to commercially available kits. One of them that stood out to me from the beginning is Matt Dentons µBug. Denton has been making hexapod robots since the early 2000s and has since perfected them to the point where they were even used in movie productions. Their organic, insect-like movements are something very few robots get right. And since I saw the videos of these robots, I wanted to build one myself. While the uBug was once sold as a kit, the shop and forums have long gone offline. So I tried to find what was left of the documentation and decided to build my own hexapod from scratch.