Hector the Robot is Inspired By Stick Insects

By: Rahul Kalvapallé - Dec 31, 2014
References: ekvv.uni-bielefeld.de & gizmag
Hector is a stick insect-inspired robot built by researchers at Bielefeld University in Germany. It is hoped that Hector, whose name stands for 'Hexapod Cognitive Autonomously Operating Robot'. will not only benefit the robotics world but also biologists interested in animal movement.

While most six-legged robots tend to walk using a tripod or some other fixed leg gait, Hector has a free gait, meaning it utilizes flexible leg control to navigate rough surfaces, with each leg making independent decisions regarding when and where to move. The robot uses what is called 'active posture adaptation', which allows it to use its sensors to figure out how to get over obstacles such as wooden platforms.

This stick insect-inspired robot also features a very light exoskeleton made from carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. The robot has 18 passive electric joints that mimic muscle movement.