Computer-Aided Geometric Design of Legs for a Walking Vehicle

Publication Title

Mechanism and Machine Theory

Publication Date


Document Type





computer-aided geometric design, legs, walking vehicle


Mechanical Engineering


A legged vehicle is potentially more energy efficient and mobile than conventional vehicles in rough terrain. The performance of such a legged vehicle is strongly dependent on the leg geometry. In general, a leg linkage which possesses three-degree-of-freedom foot motion is adequate. A preliminary design of the leg with a view to good energy efficiency resulted in a four-bar leg. This was described by S. M. Song et al.[Mech. Mach. Theory19, 17–24 (1984)]. In the present paper, the mobility of the legged vehicle is brought into consideration in the leg design. A study of the mobility of a six-legged vehicle shows that a large walking envelope is required for each leg linkage. In order to satisfy this requirement, the original four-bar leg was modified into a seven-bar leg by mounting another four-bar linkage on the coupler of the original four-bar linkage. Also, a different type of leg linkage based on pantograph mechanism was designed. A comparison of the leg performance of both types of leg is made in this paper and the pantograph leg is found to be more effective.