Jan 10, 2015 | By Simon

Among other projects that have been extremely popular with makers, hackers, tinkerers and the like are those that blend both hardware and software development together into one final project.  More often than not, these projects result in fully-programmed and 3D printed robots of all shapes and sizes.

For Instructables user ‘Bit-Boy’, creating a Klann Linkage-inspired walking robot was something that’s been on his to-do list for a while now and thanks to him, he is sharing it with the Instructables community for anybody else who has been wanting to create a 3D printed walking robot.

Perhaps what makes the project ideal for a large amount of users is that it builds off of relatively simple concepts rather than throwing a first-time builder directly into the depths of ‘programming-and-complex-modeling-land’ seen in a host of other robot build projects.

Powered by two continuous rotation servos that are controlled by an Arduino Uno, Bit-Boy hopes that users will be able to complete his project and then use it to establish building blocks for creating more complex projects with a 3D printer and the Arduino Uno.


Starting with easy-to-obtain parts that Bit-Boy has provided in a list (which also includes the necessary 3D printable files), he jumps straight into explaining the linkage - which is derived from the Klann Linkage created by Joe Klann - and how to customize the design as you see fit.  Bit-Boy was even generous enough to supply the editable SolidWorks models in the case that you want to experiment with different shapes and sizes for your own custom robot design.

Using MatterSlice to slice his 3D print files, Bit-Boy then proceeds to print the necessary parts need to build the robot... which amount to 9 pieces for the core of the robot and 19 pieces for each LinkageFrame.  

After double-checking to see that the idler fits and can rotate freely (some parts may need some finishing depending on the quality of your 3D prints), the assembly process begins starting with the LinkageFrames.

“When assembling the linkage with the screws and lock-nuts you want to make sure not to over tighten the joints,” adds Bit-Boy.   “You want there to be ease of movement with each joint, not to sticky and not to loose.”

Once the linkages and gears are each assembled, they can then be connected via the two linkage connectors to the platform or ‘core’ of the robot.  Then, a simple attachment of the Servo is all that’s needed to complete the assembly of the robot.

Finally, the electronics and programming are needed in order to command the robot to walk properly.  Thankfully, this step is simple and involves minimal soldering.

Once the wires are hooked up to the servos, the Arduino is attached to the platform and is ready to be programmed.   

“The programming isn't much and with just the Arduino Uno and the servos you are pretty limited to it steering itself,” says Bit-Boy.  “To program the robot just type whichever movement you want it to do into the loop followed by a certain amount of time delay that you want it to perform that movement.”

Bit-Boy hopes that whoever completes the project will go further and expand the capabilities including adding more servo motors, attaching sensors, or even making the robot controllable via Bluetooth or WiFi from a smartphone.  

Adds Bit-Boy:

“I would also encourage you to design your own custom Klann linkage for your own projects or possibly make a new one for this robot that maybe has a larger step or even cooler looking linkages! It's all up to you.”

You can see the instructions in-full as well as download the necessary project files over at Instructables.  


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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