Milestones in the Development of Legged Robots

1836 Weber and Weber:
Measurements in corpses show that natural frequency of leg when swinging as compound pendulum is similar to cadence in live walking.
1850 Chebyshev:
Designs straight-line linkage used in early walking mechanism (Lucas 1894).
1872 Muybridge:
Develops stop-motion photography to document running animals.
1893 Rygg:
Patents human-powered mechanical horse.
1945 Wallace:
Patents hopping tank with reaction wheels that provide stability.
1961 Space General:
Eight-legged linkage machine walks in outdoor terrain (Morrison 1968).
1963 Cannon, Higdon:
Control system balances single, double, and limber inverted pendulums.
1968 Frank and McGhee:
Shift-register logic controls walking of Phony Pony.
1968 Mosher:
GE quadruped truck climbs railroad ties under control of human driver.
1969 Bucyrus-Erie Co.:
Big Muskie, a 15,000 ton walking dragline is used for strip mining. It moves in soft terrain at a speed of 900 ft/hr (Sitek 1976).
1977 McGhee:
Digital computer coordinates leg motions of hexapod robot walks with wave gait using digital computer to coordinate leg motion.
1977 Gurfinkel:
Hybrid computer controls hexapod walker in USSR.
1977 McMahon and Greene:
Human runners set new speed records on tuned track at Harvard. Its compliance is adjusted to mechanics of human leg.
1980 Hirose and Umetani:
Quadruped machine climbs stairs and climbs over obstacles using simple sensors and reflex-like control. The leg mechanism simplifies control.
1980 Kato:
Hydraulic biped walks with quasidynamic gait.
1980 Matsuoka:
Mechanism balances in the plane while hopping on one leg.
1981 Miura and Shimoyama:
Biped balances actively while walking in three dimensional space.
1983 Sutherland:
Self-contained hexapod carries human rider. Computer, hydraulics, and human share computing task.
1983 Odetics:
Self-contained hexapod lifts and moves back end of pickup truck (Russell 1983).
1983 Raibert:
One-legged machine hops in place, travels at a specified rate, keeps its balance when disturbed, and jumps over small obstacles.
1984 Furusho:
Planar five-link biped starts walking from a standing position, and travels at 0.8 m/s.
1987 Waldron and McGhee:
Three-ton self-contained hexapod carrying human driver travels at 5 mph, travels in irregular terrain, and pulls a load.
1988 Hodgins and Koechling:
Planar biped climbs short stairway, jumps over obstacles, and sets speed record of 13.1 mph.
1989 Raibert:
Quadruped runs with trotting, pacing, and bounding gaits, and changes between gaits.
1990 McGeer:
Planar biped with knees walks passively down sloping surface.
1991 Raibert:
3D Biped travels around laboratory.
1992 Playter:
3D Biped does 3D somersault.
1994 LegLab & 20th Century Fox:
3D Biped and Uniroo appear in Rising Sun with Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes.
1996 Leeser:
Planar Quadruped runns with articulated spine.
1997 Honda:
Honda Motor Company announces its bipedal walking project which has resulted in an autonomous humanoid.

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