Robotic kangaroo based on the principles of nature

Robotic kangaroo based on the principles of nature

Typically, robots look and act like what they are...robotic. However a German company by the name of Festo has designed a robotic kangaroo, dubbed the "BionicKangaroo", which has been designed to mimic a real life kangaroo. The robotic kangaroo looks and acts cute on the exterior, while the insides are comprised of impressive robotics.

03_BionicKangaroo_00048_500px[Image Source: FESTO]

BionicKangaroo is three feet tall, weighs 15 pounds, (7 kilogram), it can launch itself a foot high, (40cm), when it jumps in the air and manages to go a distance of two and a half feet, (80cm). Controlling the BionicKangaroo is easy thanks to an armband, which relies on gesture controls.

Just as with a living kangaroo, the robotic version features a tendon in the leg allowing it to move forward with ease, along with recovering the energy from landing compression and storing it in anticipation for its next jump. The tendon is a pneumatic spring loaded for launching the robot forward and when released, the leg springs backwards.

When the BionicKangaroo is in the air its leg then moves forward in preparation for the landing, while the tail can adjust to help the kangaroo robot balance, much like real kangaroos. On impact with the ground the leg is then spring loaded once again, preparing for another hop. In short, Festo has managed to mimic the way a kangaroo moves using robotics but in a naturally appearing way.

Infografik_BionicKangaroo_Uebersicht_en_500px[Image Source: FESTO]

Festo have combined the use of electrical drive technology along with the pneumatic tech to make a system that is highly dynamic. The robotic kangaroo has superb stability during jumping and landing thanks to precise control technology. Use of materials and clever design have resulted in an overall lightweight design, important for energy consumption.

05_BionicKangaroo_00354_500px[Image Source: FESTO]

The mobile energy supply was of course a very important factor of the kangaroo and Festo came up with two concepts; one of these relied on an integrated compressor and the other was based around a high pressure storage device that is mobile.

06_bionickangaroo_00223_500px.0_standard_640.0[Image Source: FESTO]

04_BionicKangaroo_00074_500px[Image Source: FESTO]

BionicKangaroo was designed by the Festo Bionic Learning network; whose aim is to find ways on improving automation by looking into evolution. One of the aims of the Bionic Learning Network is to learn from nature. It is a joint effort between Festo along with some renowned universities, development companies and institutions. They take natures principals and use this inspiration in their technical applications.

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