Historical and Modern Perspective of Walking Robots

  • Kenzo Nonami
  • Ranjit Kumar Barai
  • Addie Irawan
  • Mohd Razali Daud
Part of the Intelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering book series (ISCA, volume 66)


Study of historical evolution and modern point of view on a complex subject like robotics invokes motivations and professionalisms among the researchers. Research on walking machines started at the time of Leonardo da Vinci and that ultimately culminated into the development of the modern walking robots through the transformations and refinements of the ideas and design methodology over the centuries. Obviously, the allied technology of mechatronics, particularly for sensing, actuation, and control, available at various points of time in the past influenced the design and implementation of walking robot quite heavily. The urge for mimicking the walking creatures in the past and the various efforts to apply the knowledge gathered from the observations of the biological world in the design and control of walking robots has added a new dimension as well as posed many new challenges in the walking robot research. However, the various challenges faced during the design and implementation of walking robots in the past and lessons learned from them to overcome those challenges enriched the technology of walking robot and drove it toward maturity. Therefore, the knowledge of the historical evolution of walking robotics research and its modern point of view will definitely inspire a robotics researcher for undertaking new challenges for the design and development of walking robots and will also guide him to take correct design decision. This chapter presents the historical evolution of walking robots and its perspective in a condensed manner.


Biped Robot Rough Terrain Quadruped Robot Worm Gear Biped Locomotion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Carbone G, Ceccarelli M (2005) Legged robotic systems. In: Kordic V, Lazinica A, Merdan M (eds) Cutting edge robotics. ARS International/pro literatur, Vienna/MammendorfGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zielinska T (2004) Development of walking machines: historical perspective. In: Proceedings of the international symposium on history of machines and mechanisms. Kluwer Academic Publisher, pp 357–370Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    SilvaM F, MachadoJ AT (2007) A historical perspective of legged robots. J Vib Control 13(9–10):1447–1486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kajita S, Espiau B (2008) Legged robots. In: Siciliano B, Khatib O (eds) Springer handbook of robotics. Springer, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pfeiffer F, Josef S, Robmann T, Muchen TU (1998) Legged walking machines. In: Khatib O, Anibal TA (eds) Autonomous robotic systems. Springer, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boone G, Hodgins J (2000) Walking and running machines. MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Accessed 4 June 2012
  7. 7.
    Stone WL (2005) The history of robotics. In: Kurfess TR (ed) Robotics and automation handbook. CRC, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rosheim ME (1994) Robot evolution: the development of anthrobotics, 1st edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tesar D (1997) Where is the field of robotics going? Technical report of the robotics research group, The University of Texas at AustinGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rosheim ME (1997) In the footsteps of Leonardo. IEEE Robot Automat Mag 4:12–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Raibert MH (1986) Legged robots. Commun ACM 29(6):499–514CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Machado JAT, Silva M (2012) An overview of legged robots. Accessed 4 June 2012
  13. 13.
    Song SM, Waldron KJ (1989) The machine that walk: the adaptive suspension vehicle. MIT, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wallen J (2008) The history of the industrial robot. Technical reports from the Automatic Control group at Linköpingsuniversitet. Accessed 4 June 2012
  15. 15.
    Garcia E, Jimenez MA, Santos PGD, Armada M (2007) The evolution of robotics research. IEEE Robot Automat Mag 14(1):90–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kar DC (2003) Design of statically stable walking robot: a review. J Robot Syst 20(11):671–686CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    RUN THE PLANET (2012) The history of walking robots. Accessed 4 June 2012
  18. 18.
    McGhee RB (1985) Vehicular legged locomotion. In: Sirdis GN (ed) Advances in automation and robotics. JAI Press Inc., GreenwichGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hirose S (2001) Super mechano-system: new perspective for versatile robotic system. In: Rus D, Singh S (eds) Experimental robotics VII. Springer, Berlin, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hirose S, Kato K (2000) Study on quadruped walking robot in Tokyo institute of technology – past, present and future. In: Proceedings of the IEEE international conference on robotics and automation, pp 414–419Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hirai K (1997) Current and future perspective of Honda humanoid robot. In: Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ international conference on intelligent robots and systems, pp 500–508Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hartikainen K, Halme A, Lehtinen H, Koskinen K (1992) MECANT I: a six legged walking machine for research purposes in outdoor environment. Technical reports 6, series B, Helsinki University of Technology, Automation Technology LaboratoryGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Santos PG, Garcia E, Estremera J (2006) Quadrupedal locomotion: an introduction to the control of four-legged robots. Springer, LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nonami K, Huang Q, Komizo D, Fukao Y, Asai Y, Shiraishi Y, Fujimoto M, Ikedo Y (2003) Development and control of mine detection robot COMET-II and COMET-III. JSME Int J Ser C 46(3):881–890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Nonami K, Huang Q, Komizo D, Fukao Y, Asai Y, Shirashi Y, Fujimoto M, Ikedo Y (2002) Development of mine detection robot COMET-II and COMET-III. In: Proceedings of the 6th international conference on motion and vibration control. Saitama, pp 449–454Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kimura H, Tsuchiya K, Ishiguro A, Witte H (2006) Adaptive motion of animals and machines. Springer, TokyoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Voth D (2002) Nature’s guide to robot design. IEEE Intell Syst Mag 17:4–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Beer R, Quinn RD, Ciel HJ, Ritzmann RE (1997) Biologically inspired approaches in robotics: what we can learn from insects. Commun ACM 40(3):30–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Berns K (2002) Biologically inspired walking machines. In: Gini M, Shen WM, Torras C, Yuasa H (eds) Intelligent autonomous systems 7. IOS, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hasslacher B, Tilden MW (1995) Living machines. Robot Autonom Syst 15(1–2):143–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Pfeiffer F, EltzeJ WHJ (1995) Six-legged technical walking considering biological principles. Robot Autonom Syst 14(2–3):223–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Dillmann R, Albiez J, Gabmann B, Kerscher T, Zollner M (2007) Biologically inspired walking machines: design, control and perception. Phil Trans R Soc A 365:133–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Quinn RD, Ritzmann RE (1998) Construction of a hexapod robot with cockroach kinematics benefits both robotics and biology. Connect Sci 10(3–4):239–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    NaikaK MM, Bardenc J (2010) Design, development and control of a hopping machine – an exercise in biomechatronics. Appl Bionics Biomech 7(1):83–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hirzinger G, Fischer M, Brunner B, Koeppe R, Otter M, Grebenstein M, Schäfer I (1999) Advances in robotics: the DLR experience. Int J Robot Res 18(11):1064–1087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Arikawa K, Hirose S (2007) Mechanical design of walking machines. Phil Trans R Soc A 365(1850):171–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Yokoyama K, Handa H, Isozumi T, Fukase Y, Kaneko K, Kanehiro F, Kawai Y, Tomita F, Hirukawa H (2003) Cooperative works by a human and a humanoid robot. In: Proceedings of the IEEE international conference on robotics & automation, Taipei, pp 2985–2991Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenzo Nonami
    • 1
  • Ranjit Kumar Barai
    • 2
  • Addie Irawan
    • 3
  • Mohd Razali Daud
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering Division of Artificial Systems Science Graduate School of EngineeringChiba UniversityChibaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Electrical EngineeringJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia
  3. 3.Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Robotics and Unmanned Systems (RUS) groupUniversiti Malaysia PahangPahangMalaysia

Personalised recommendations