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Meet 'Robo-roo', The Robot That Jumps Exactly Like a Kangaroo [Video]

Update Date: Apr 03, 2014 12:09 PM EDT
Kangaroo
Scientists at Festo — a German automation company — have created a kangaroo-like bot named BionicKangroo.
(Photo : scottcalleja/Flickr)

Scientists at Festo - a German automation company - have created a kangaroo-like bot named BionicKangroo.

The new kangaroo-inspired bot is a part of the Festo's Bionic Learning Network. Previously, Festo has produced bots mimicking natural designs such as Smart Robotic Seagull and a robotic arm that looked similar to an Elephant's trunk.

The newly created BionicKangroo is around a meter tall and weighs around seven kilograms. It can jump 0.4 meter up and 0.8 meters horizontally.

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Kangaroos are known for using their energy efficiently. Their muscle stores energy from a previous jump that powers the next jump. It is the energy recovering capability that helps these animals in hopping for a long time.

"With the BionicKangaroo we have precisely reproduced the most characteristic features of natural kangaroos: recuperating and storing energy, and then releasing it once more in the next bound," said Heinrich Frontzek, head of Corporate Communication and Future Concepts at Festo, as quoted by NWN.

"In the artificial kangaroo, we realized the function of the natural Achilles tendon by means of an elastic spring element made of rubber," added Frontzek.

The kangaroo-like bot has a small compressor that provides high pressure air for the artificial muscles to power the jump. The bot can also be controlled via a gesture-based Thalmic Labs Myo armband.

According to IEEE, the new robot will be officially unveiled next week at Hannover Messe.

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