On a Jansen leg with multiple gait patterns for reconfigurable walking platforms

Shunsuke Nansai, Nicolas Rojas, Rajesh Elara Mohan, Ricardo Sosa , Masami Iwase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Legged robots are able to move across irregular terrains and those based on 1-degree-of-freedom planar linkages can be energy efficient, but are often constrained by a limited range of gaits which can limit their locomotion capabilities considerably. This article reports the design of a novel reconfigurable Theo Jansen linkage that produces a wide variety of gait cycles, opening new possibilities for innovative applications. The suggested mechanism switches from a pin-jointed Grübler kinematic chain to a 5-degree-of-freedom mechanism with slider joints during the reconfiguration process. It is shown that such reconfigurable linkage significantly extend the capabilities of the original design, while maintaining its mechanical simplicity during normal operation, to not only produce different useful gait patterns but also to realize behaviors beyond locomotion. Experiments with an implemented prototype are presented, and their results validate the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAdvances in Mechanical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Jansen linkage
  • Legged locomotion
  • Planar mechanisms
  • Reconfigurable linkages
  • Walking platforms

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