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The design of legged robots has long drawn on nature for inspiration. However, few of these robots exhibit the speed and robustness seen in even the simplest of animals. The paper presents the design and fabrication of a class of six-legged running robots based on biologically inspired functional principles. We first describe findings in biological research that motivate our robots' design, leg configuration, and control structure. We then describe an emerging layered-manufacturing technology that allows us to fabricate the robots with passive mechanical properties like those found in nature. Finally, we present preliminary tests over different terrains and conditions which show speed and robustness approaching the performance of small animals.