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Mechanism design of a biomimetic quadruped robot

Zhao Tang (School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China)
Peng Qi (Department of Control Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China)
Jian Dai (School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China and Engineering Division, King’s College London, London, UK)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 19 June 2017




This paper aims to introduce a novel design of the biomimetic quadruped robot, including its body structure, three structural modes and respective workspace.


By taking a metamorphic 8-bar linkage as the body of a quadruped robot, the authors propose a reconfigurable walking robot that can imitate three kinds of animals: mammals (e.g. dog), arthropods (e.g. stick insect) and reptiles (e.g. lizard). Furthermore, to analyze the three structural modes of this quadruped robot, the workspace is calculated and studied.


Based on experimental data analyses, it is revealed that the metamorphic quadruped robot can walk in all its three structural modes and adapt to different terrains.

Research limitations/implications

Because the body of the quadruped robot is deformable and reconfigurable, the location of payload is not considered in the current stage.

Practical implications

The relative positions and postures of legs of the metamorphic robot can be rearranged during its body reconfiguration in such a way to combine all the features of locomotion of the three kinds of animals into one robot. So, the metamorphic quadruped robot is capable of maintaining wider stability margins than conventional rigid-body quadruped robots and conducting operations in different environments, particularly the extreme and restricted occasions due to the changeable and adaptable trunk.


The main contribution is the development of a reconfigurable biomimetic quadruped robot, which uses the metamorphic 8-bar linkage. This robot can easily reshape to three different structural modes and mimic the walking patterns of all mammals, arthropods and reptiles.



The work in this paper was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China No. 51535008 and the International S&T Cooperation Program of China under No. 2014DFA70710.


Tang, Z., Qi, P. and Dai, J. (2017), "Mechanism design of a biomimetic quadruped robot", Industrial Robot, Vol. 44 No. 4, pp. 512-520.



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