Festo is renowned for building amazing robotics platforms that are based on nature and the latest, a hopping kangaroo that is controlled by gesture, is another masterpiece of engineering.
With the BionicKangaroo, Festo has reproduced the unique way a kangaroo moves. By incorporating an elastic spring, the counterpart of the animal's tendons, it can recover the energy when jumping, store it and efficiently use it for the next jump.
The motor that drives this mechanical kangaroo uses compressed air which could be supplied by a standard internal combustion engine - assuming you wanted to turn it into something the military along the lines of big dog or Atlas.
I wonder what the military would do with a robotic kangaroo?
A kangaroo's locomotion is supposed to be very efficient because of the way that the energy of the leap is recovered by compressing a spring on landing. The whole system is stabilized by a feedback system and the kangaroo's human master directs the hopping using a Myo muscle sensing device.
Can you think of any uses for a robotic kangaroo?
No neither can I but it's fun to watch and so cute - all it needs is a covering of fur. I wonder what it would be able to carry in its pouch?
At last Atlas seems to have discovered mobility and has been allowed to go running through the woods. The robot isn't quite "running free" as it is still on a tether, but it certainly holds promise fo [ ... ]