TigerBug is a six legged, hexapod robot built and designed by students in the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) Multi Agent Bio-Robotics Laboratory (MABL). TigerBug is comprised of 18 servo motors, 3 degrees of freedom (DOF) per leg, supported by carbon fiber wrapped foam legs placed in a circular pattern around its hexagon shaped body. In order to control such a complex system, much research has been done in the field of kinematics. There exist two derivations of kinematic solutions, forward and inverse. The forward kinematic (FK) solution tends to be much simpler than its inverse kinematic (IK) counterpart. There has been many methods developed to quickly, and efficiently solve the IK in order to control the position and orientation of a robot. This thesis details the process of developing the IK solution and two gait algorithms for TigerBug. The IK solution was developed by first solving for the FK solution of TigerBug using Denavit-Hartenberg (DH) Parameters. After the FK solution was solved, differentials were applied to each equation in order to solve for the IK solution. Once the IK solution was tested, a fixed gait algorithm was developed in order to understand basic motion control of hexapod locomotion. Once the fixed gait was implemented successfully a rule-based free gait algorithm was developed. The rule-based free gait was accomplished using the rule set governed by restrictiveness to determine when leg state transitions were to occur, as described in the literature. Once implemented, the different combinations of gait parameters were tested for quickness of convergence and efficiency to determine the most optimal set of walking parameters for TigerBug.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Robots--Motion--Mathematical models; Robots--Control systems--Mathematical models

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Electrical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Electrical Engineering (KGCOE)


Ferat Sahin

Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Mathew

Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Monteiro


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TJ211.4 .J64 2014


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes