What is the X-RHex? A bizarre spy robot who conquers the Mojave Desert

Experimental robots can have some fairly jarring means of locomotion, but wait until you see the X-RHex, a half-wheeled, half-legged robot who scoffs at hills, grass, and other terrain. Watch this "legged laboratory" flail its way through the Mojave.


X-RHex comes to us from UPenn's Kod*Lab — the DARPA-funded bot was designed to navigate rough terrain on a two-hour electrical charge. Says its builders at Kod*Lab:

X-RHex is an effective research machine both in the laboratory and in outdoor field tests. Six powerful motors actuate compliant legs, allowing X-RHex to traverse a wide variety of terrains, including asphalt, grass, sand, mud, and rocks. By using a mil-spec rail mounted interface and standard electrical connections, X-RHex can support a wide variety of payloads, making it a mobile "laboratory on legs".

I don't know about you, but this bot is giving me flashbacks of The Animal.

[Spotted on Fast Company]



They're not wheels.

They're not legs.

They're WHEGS !

. . .and i wove 'em.