Thesis Details

Biology-inspired control of a walking robot

Ph.D. Thesis Student: Žák Marek Academic Year: 2023/2024 Supervisor: Zbořil František V., doc. Ing., CSc.
Czech title
Biologií inspirované řízení kráčivého robota

Mobile robots have become part of everyday life. Various robots can perform a wide range of different tasks or go to places humans cannot. Their use can be found in rescue operations or in the exploration of remote or hard to reach places on Earth or in space. Walking robots form a separate category of mobile robots due to their unique features. They can negotiate rough terrain, can overcome various obstacles or use their legs to manipulate objects. Although walking robots are well suited to navigate rugged terrain, a number of factors have so far prevented their mass deployment. Their movement is relatively slow and energetically demanding, they have a limited payload, and their design is significantly more complex compared to wheeled or tracked robots. Walking robots often have dozens of joints and their control is therefore very complicated.

This thesis describes a new bio-inspired hexapod robot WHexaR (Wheeled Hexapod Robot) and its controller that I designed and implemented as part of this work. The resulting robot is capable of energy-efficient movement in rugged terrain. The leg structure of the robot is inspired by the structure of an insect limb. The robot adapts its movement to the surrounding terrain. A special trochanter joint allows the entire leg of the robot to rotate parallel to gravitational acceleration, which reduces the energy consumption, increases the robot's stability and allows the robot to overcome steep hills. For movement on flat terrain, the robot is equipped with steerable wheels that allow the robot to achieve higher speeds with lower energy consumption than when using gait. The innovative biology-inspired robot controller is equipped with reflexes observed in insects that make the robot more efficient when travelling in rough terrain and improve its ability to overcome obstacles. A series of experiments were conducted to demonstrate the robot's ability to navigate rugged and sloping terrain.


Biology-inspired hexapod robot, inspiration in the nature, design and control of a walking robot, energy efficiency

Degree Programme
Computer Science and Engineering, Field of Study Computer Science and Engineering
28 February 2024
ŽÁK, Marek. Biology-inspired control of a walking robot. Brno, 2023. Ph.D. Thesis. Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Information Technology. 2024-02-28. Supervised by Zbořil František V.. Available from:
    author = "Marek \v{Z}\'{a}k",
    type = "Ph.D. thesis",
    title = "Biology-inspired control of a walking robot",
    school = "Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Information Technology",
    year = 2024,
    location = "Brno, CZ",
    language = "english",
    url = ""
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