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Festo’s Bionic Kangaroo Robot Can Probably Hop Forever… Into Your Nightmares

Until the batteries run out of course.

Festo Robot Kangaroo

It’s very possible that Dr. Robotnik works for Festo after seeing this fascinating bionic kangaroo robot. That’s right, friends! Festo has just unveiled a bionic kangaroo, and with the use of kangaroo physics (and just physics in general), this robot is able to move around and jump like any real one.

This robotic kangaroo with happy feet has been in the works for the last few years in Festo’s German laboratory. It weighs seven kilograms and is about a meter tall. It emulates the movement of actual kangaroos and can be controlled through motion gestures by wearing a special armband designed for robotic control.

When kangaroos are continuously hopping, their tendons are able to store energy in order to power the next jump without getting tired. This is where physics plays a significant part in the mechanics of the robot making sure that it’s stable when it jumps and lands. The kinetic energy stored from the previous jump is converted into potential energy for the following jump, thus the kangaroo can for long periods without tiring.

If this was really Dr. Robotnik’s doing, then we’d probably see a monstrosity of a kangaroo hopping around and destroying towns, trying to obliterate Sonic perhaps? Fortunately, this little guy is harmless (as far as we can tell) and will be at the Hannover Messe next week in Germany, one of the world’s largest industrial trade fairs that showcase all sorts of new innovations.

You can see it in action in this video from IEEE Spectrum:

(via IEEE SPECTRUM)

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