Motor-free robot dog is created with the help of 3D printing.

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Title: Revolutionizing Robotic Movement: Engineers Develop Motorless Quadruped Robot Inspired by Dogs


In a groundbreaking development, engineers at the Computational Robot Design & Fabrication Lab (CREATE) at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have created a quadruped robot that can autonomously run without relying on motors. By studying the biological mechanisms of dogs, the team has created a prototype that mimics the swift and coordinated movements of these animals. This innovative design marks a departure from conventional robotic designs, which heavily depend on control motors for motion.

Inspiration from Nature:

Realizing that motor control is crucial in achieving fluid and realistic movements, the engineers turned their attention to the motor control processes in dogs. Their aim was to replicate the biological mechanisms of dogs to create a robot that could initiate and sustain motion without the aid of motors.

Design and Functionality:

The robot consists of four legs connected by three joints, which work in harmony to imitate the movements of real dogs. The internal structure of the robot closely resembles that of a dog, with metal rods serving as bones, 3D printed pulleys as joints, and thin wires as tendons. These elements are held together with screws, encompassing a biomimetic approach that relies on bilateral symmetry.

Limitations and Future Improvements:

While the prototype exhibited impressive autonomous movement during treadmill testing, the researchers acknowledge that its robustness is currently limited. Researcher Michael Achkar highlighted that their objective is not to compete with ultra-high-tech robotic dogs, but rather to explore bio-inspired designs. The team aims to refine the robot’s fundamental design and modify its passive properties to eliminate the need for complex control systems. This approach maximizes the robot’s capabilities while maintaining simplicity.

Implications and Potential Applications:

Beyond quadruped robots, the engineers believe that their design methodology, emphasizing joint synergy, can also prove beneficial in creating robotic hands and other body parts. By incorporating a counterweight mechanism that resembles a pendulum, the robot gains the energy required to sustain its motion. While control motors may enhance functionality, the team prioritizes optimizing the robot’s core design to ensure simplicity and versatility.


The motorless quadruped robot developed by engineers at EPFL’s CREATE Lab represents a significant leap forward in designing robots inspired by nature. By studying and replicating the motor control processes of dogs, the team has created a robot capable of autonomous motion. Although the prototype’s robustness remains a challenge, the engineers are committed to refining its passive properties and simplifying control systems for future advancements. This innovative approach paves the way for more bio-inspired designs, revolutionizing the field of robotics as we know it.

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