The Shadow Fox Project

I’m working on a new quadruped over spring break, where I will have much time (alone with no food). CAD it up and make a small model if 3D printing allows. It will focus on a biometric tensegrity structure, which mimics mammalian skeletons and ligaments. Instead of direct drive in torque based joints, I will try to support structures with ligaments and partially tensed tendons.

Here’s what I have done so far with CAD. The tendons are not added in yet and I still need to design the spinal structure for the left/right motion. I also need to accommodate for the rotary sensors/flex sensors for the spine. For this robot, I want to integrate a two degree of freedom flex sensor inside the spine. I was inspired to try building a running quadruped by the cheetah robot by Boston Dynamics. The video of it’s record breaking running speed is circulating on the internet.

For now, I plan to have it electronically actuated, as pneumatics are way out of my price range. Three degrees of freedom per joint, two for the spine, two for the neck, and two for the tail. Then the walking gait generation fun begins again. And once again as inspiration, I have Zoids:

My fox project’s namesake, the Shadow Fox.

On a more relevant note, the other quadruped I’ve been working on is nearing completion. After a long lull of waiting for the university to deliver parts, I need to calibrate the sensors and servo motor settings, but then hopefully it will take its first steps.


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