1977 – IPM Six-Legged Walker with Laser Scanning – Okhotsimski et al (Soviet)
The insect-like walkers were referred to as "cockroaches".
In the early 70s, at the Institute of Applied mathematics (IPM) of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, a six-legged walking machine controlled on a base of a mathematical model of motion control was developed. The machine motion and the terrain were rendered on a display. Motion control algorithms were developed for a walking machine on rugged terrain in both automated and operator control modes. The problems of control were also considered for a dynamic model of a statically stable walking machine (Okhotsimski & Platonov, 1973, 1976).
See video simulation here - "Taking an Ant for a Walk".
In this small video compilation there is a few seconds of the simulation under joystick control.
The first six-legged machine was equipped with a laser scanning range finder and is connected with a two-computer system. The walker could move around isolated obstacles which were detected remotely by a scanning distance-measuring system, and could climb over obstacles (see Fig. 2.9).
The parameters of the machine are the follows: body length 0,6 m, body width 0,25 m, weight 56 kg, length of leg 0,4 m, velocity 0,2 m/s (Okhotsimski & Platonov, 1976; Okhotsimski et al., 1978).
Okhotsimski, D. & Platonov, A.(1973). Control algorithm of the walking climbing over obstacles. In Proc. of the Third Intern. Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Stanford, California.
Okhotsimski, D. & Platonov, A.(1976). Walker’s motion control. In Proc. of CISM-IFToMM Symp. “ROMANSY-76”. Warsaw, Poland.
Okhotsimski, D., Platonov, A., Gerken-Gubanov, G., Kuznetzov, V., Devjanin, E., Lensky, A., Gurfinkel, E. & Schneider, A.(1978). Integration walking robot
simulation and modeling. In 7th Congress IFAC,, , vol. 2, pp. 917–924. Helsinki: Pergamon Press.
Okhotsimsky, D. & Golubev, Y.(1984). Motion mechanics and control of motion an automated walking vehicle, p. 312. Moscow, (in Russian): Publishing House “Nauka”.
Okhotsimsky, D., Platonov, A., Kiril’chenko, A., Lapshin, V. & Tolstousova, V.(1992). Walking machines. Advances in Mechanics. Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Moscow 15 (1–2), 39–70.
Okhotsimsky is on the right.
There was a 'family' of these walking machines. See also "Masha" and another of Gurfinkel's walking machine here (not yet posted).