I want to make a simple Arduino based programmable insect robot.

I want it to walk on legs and legs will be made of hard aluminum wire. It needs to have 4 legs. I am planning to use Arduino Nano for that. I just had few questions like:

  1. How to arrange servos and wire to have motion?
  2. I also want it to turn sideways?
  3. Where can I read good theory on making insect like robots?
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Hi, this question is way too broad and any reasonable answer would also be too long for this site. Can you break it down to smaller questions? $\endgroup$
    – cube
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 7:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Insects have six legs, which makes things easier - you can pick up three legs in a triangle and the centre of gravity will be within the other three, whereas with four legs if you pick one up you have to move to keep the weight within the triangle formed by the other three. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 12:52

1 Answer 1



Ant like robots are called Hexapods (6 legs) and Quadruped (4 legs). Each leg has 2 servos as minimum, but most developer prefer 3 servos per leg. The problem is, that arduino boards have a limit how much servos they can drive. From hardware point-of-view it is important to hide the wires inside the robot so that the construction is clean and agile.


Motion primtives are used to program the servos. Every motion primitive is mapped onto a key at the Playstation Controller. Pressing A means "move forward", pressing B means "move backwards". The predefined trajektories are created with the animation software Blender. One axis is the timescale, the other axis is the value of the servo. The combination of these diagrams results into a smooth motion of the insect robot.

Advanced control strategies are possible but are less used by amateurs. An example for a software for controlling complex tasks is PARADOCS It is not about a walking robot but about a quadcopter. A high-level planner based on a gantt chart is used to determine partial order plans.


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