The world of robots spans from industry workers, underwater MAVs to drones in the sky. But, there is a company that has developed something for the animal kingdom as well. This research firm from Germany called Festo has developed a robot model that looks and functions like a real kangaroo. It is designed keeping in mind all the physics and biology/anatomy of a real kangaroo. And, for the same reason, it is fondly called ?BionicKangaroo?. This robot moves very similarly as the researchers studied the locomotion of the animal closely to mimic it as naturally as possible.
The New Bionic Hopping Robot
The way the robot jumps and how accurately it followed mechanically is a marvel in itself. With so many joints and hydraulic working seamlessly together, it is nothing sort of a big milestone in mobile robotics. It makes use of pneumatic and electric drives where they work best and are used as a combination.
The highly stable jumps, being able to balance itself on the two thin legs and the overall dynamic movement are attributed to the clever mechanics and design behind it. The lightweight material used for construction allows it to be able to work with less energy. The mobile energy supply to the kangaroo is what makes it so beautiful in look as well as function. Festo confirms that the team had to develop two prototypes: one with an integrated compressor and the other with a mobile high-pressure storage device.
The sensor system, in this case, is incredibly simple to implement and yet has been very cleverly designed and placed. The sensors along with the control systems work in tandem with each other and this makes it a great deal.
With each jump, the kangaroo regains its energy, stores it in a device as mentioned above, and pushes itself with the stored energy upward for the next jump. It is completely mechanical in nature and not passive. You can find the manual for this bionic kangaroo on their official website, and look at the amazing leaps on their YouTube channel. It is nothing short of wonder and paves the way for better mobile robotics that is inspired by biological counterparts and nature.
- The jumps are energy efficient.
- The whole model is a light-weight construction for stability.
- The dynamic movement comes from both design and weight constraints.
- This robot currently cannot do anything more than that like autonomous movement and so on.
- It is precisely for mimicking the kangaroo jumping behavior as naturally as possible.
Be it a robot model or the mechanical marvel made possible by a combination of the control system, electronics, material science, BionicKangaroo is an example of how nature can teach us a lot. And, developing true bionic robots, androids and cyborgs is not far if we can manage to reinvent how birds fly, kangaroos jump, humans walk and balance on two legs, and so much more. From locomotion to optics, there is so much to do.