Kodlab of the University of Pennsylvania created a biologically inspired hexapedal robot called RHex. This robot is a powerful and autonomous hexapod robot that has complaint legs with one actuator on each leg, allowing it to overcome several obstacles and difficult terrains.
RHex is the first legged robot to run on rough and unstable terrain, and has the first legged platform to run at speeds over one body length per second. Through this robot, their developers were able to show RHex’s astonishing capabilities in a badly broken terrain.
This robotic hexapod was used to study biologically inspired locomotion, style manipulation and sensor based navigation. It was also used as an educational tool as well as a platform for developing novel courses.
RHex’s performances paved the way for the development of other six legged robots that have a single rotary actuator located at hips. X-RHex and XRL are among the latest versions of this robot. DARPA funded the research of this hexapod robot.
A strong, rugged version of RHex is commercially developed by Boston Dynamics.