Watch this little multi-legged robot stomp around in the desert. If you’re like me at all, this is completely fascinating and its hard to even look away. This was constructed by Ben Vagle, a 16 year old who wants to inspire kids in the areas of STEM and robotics. He’s launched a site, DIYwalkers.com, to help people get started in building their own little walking bots.

He set out with a few specific goals in mind:

To be appealling to kids and enthusiasts, TrotBot had two design goals:
1. Life-like motion – it mimics a galloping horse
2. High Functionality – we wanted kids to be able to really play with their robots, and to get lost in their imaginations as they walked them on the bumpy terrain found in nature, not just on flat man-made surfaces.

There are many kits out there for walkers of this style. If you go to YouTube and search for Strandbeest or Klann spider, you’ll find tons of videos. What Ben has done, is tested the aesthetic design and brought some much needed refinement in order to improve performance. Watch in the video below and see just how agile and capable Ben’s designs are.

Note how the proportions are different than what you would typically see on a strandbeest. This gives Ben’s bot much more capabilities when it comes to traversing uneven terrain. This thing seems to have no mobility issues at all!

Here’s the best part. Ben is sharing all the plans to build your own, completely free. He has complete step-by-step plans for two versions; the Trotbot and the Strider