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Kangaroo Bot Hops With Extreme Efficiency

Festo may very well be building the robot version of Noah's Ark. The series of bio-inspired robots that have come out of their labs is simply breathtaking. Their latest release is a Kangaroo bot that touts a very energy-efficient jump.

Festo is a company that specializes in pneumatics. Many of their bots are displays of unique pneumatic implementations and control schemes, often pushing the boundaries of what people typically perceive as the best use of pneumatic systems.

This Kangaroo is an impressive display of mechanical engineering as well as pneumatic energy harvesting. As the bot jumps, it expends energy, but the landing recaptures some for the next jump. There were actually two designs of this bot: one with an onboard compressor and one with only a high-capacity air reservoir.

The entire bot isn't pneumatic though. The weight distribution in the hips is controlled by electric motors, as you can see in the video. You may also notice that the control scheme is fairly unique. The robot is controlled via a wireless arm-band worn by the operator. Unfortunately, there are no details on how the gesture control system works.

— Caleb Kraft, Chief Community Editor, EE Times Circle me on Google+

This article was originally published on EBN's sister publication EE Times .

8 comments on “Kangaroo Bot Hops With Extreme Efficiency

  1. t.alex
    April 11, 2014

    The way it is balancing after a jumping is pretty interesting. I am not sure if the tail play an important role here..

  2. Ariella
    April 13, 2014

    @tt.alex that would constitute a question of physics or design. It's possible that it does help it balance — just like tails do for real animals. Or it may just be there to establish its resemblance to a real kangaroo. 

  3. Daniel
    April 14, 2014

    “The weight distribution in the hips is controlled by electric motors, as you can see in the video. You may also notice that the control scheme is fairly unique. The robot is controlled via a wireless arm-band worn by the operator. Unfortunately, there are no details on how the gesture control system works.”

    Caleb, gesture control is a comperatively new technology and more outcomes are yet to come.

  4. t.alex
    April 17, 2014

    Ariella, 

    I think if the tail has some much weight, it definitely contributes to the balancing technique.

  5. Ariella
    April 17, 2014

    @Jacob gesture control allows for really fine gestures, like slight movements of the hand? 

  6. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    April 18, 2014

    I think that it's fascinating how this is designed based on what happens in the real world. Does anybody have other examples where we learn and design from the real world?

  7. Daniel
    April 21, 2014

    “gesture control allows for really fine gestures, like slight movements of the hand? “

    Ariella, it allows all kinds of similar movements in all directions.

  8. Daniel
    April 24, 2014

    “The robot kangaroo is going to save China.”

    Rich, why only to China. It can be anywhere

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