A research group at Osaka University, led by Professor Arai, is developing a six-legged robot, with features of the design borrowed from insects. This robot walks on six legs, and it can use two legs as arms when needed, so it can pick things up and carry them.
“We originally obtained design hints from animals. So we’ve made this kind of robot based on the principle that two pairs of three legs are stable.”
“A feature of the moving parts is that, as well as normal walking motion, they can handle some degree of height difference. So this robot can get over elevations. Another big feature is, it can also get through narrow places, by lowering its body.”
A version of this robot appeared at the 2005 World Expo held in Aichi, Japan, but the robot is constantly undergoing improvements and given more features, increasing it’s versatility.
“This is one of our latest versions. It can climb by hooking its legs onto something like the net on this wall. We’re also developing a robot that can move more dynamically, by cartwheeling.”