Robotic technology has evolved at a rapid pace in the last couple of years, but instead of turning to humans for inspiration, the German engineering firm Festo decided to create a robot that is a little less human. Known for creating nature-inspired robots in the past, Festo this time decided to engineer a robotic Kangaroo called the BionicKangaroo.
Festo’s BionicKangaroo realistically recreates the jumping behavior of the real thing, which recovers energy from the previous jump to power the next thanks to the elastic-like springs of their leg tendons. On the robot, an actual elastic spring is introduced to “charge” the legs on landing.
The tail in the BionicKangaroo also plays a crucial role in making the robot work. While in the air, the tail is adjusted for balance when its legs move forward to prepare for the spring-loaded jump. While there is certainly a more technical explanation for how this all works, the company’s video demo shows you how it works in action.
This lightweight 7 kilogram (15.4 pounds) robot is quite advanced and is even controlled by a gesture based armband. While it would be fun to have one of your own, the BionicKangaroo is only for research purposes with no plans to hit store shelves.