An energy efficient 3D printed leg for bio-inspired hexapod robots

  • Brodoline Ilya
  • Viollet Stéphane
  • Serres Julien

  • Biomimetism
  • Biorobotics
  • Irreversible joints
  • Economical platform
  • Force sensing
  • Joint proprioception


Nowadays, servomotors are classically used for actuating small legged robots. Their advantages are numerous: simple to control, miniature size and a large choice of various dynamic models, which permits to choose the best speed and torque tradeoff for robot joints. However, the main drawback of servomotors is their permanent energy consumption, due to the permanent effort required to keep joint angle constant, for example when the robot stays on the spot. In addition, the dramatic heating of the servo case and gears can break the robot. The goal of our project is to design a new energy efficient robot’s leg for a bioinspired 3D printed hexapod robot. The principle of our new leg structure is based on an irreversible mechanism inside each joint, which will drastically reduce the robot’s power consumption. The design of this new leg is directly inspired by the desert ant Cataglyphis Fortis. As a fair return, it will provide an efficient robotic tool for biologists to test insect-based navigation across long range without servomotors limitations but only energy.