Researchers at EPFL have discovered a faster and more efficient gait, never observed in nature, for six-legged robots walking on flat ground. When vertebrates run, their legs exhibit minimal contact with the ground. Insects are different - the six-legged creatures run fastest using a three-legged, or “tripod” gait where they have three legs on the ground at all times (two on one side of their body and one on the other). The tripod gait has long inspired engineers who design six-legged robots. The EPFL researchers found that bipod gaits, where only two legs are on the ground at any given time, are faster and more efficient – although in nature no insects actually walk this way.