You can now add robot kangaroos to the ever-growing list of robot animals that will one day be our overlords, including the cinder-block tossing robot dogs, robot sand fleas, creepy robo-spiders and the robo-cheetah.
The kangaroo is developed by a company called Festo, and while you may be wondering why the heck engineers would want to build a robot kangaroo (or "robo-roo" as we shall now call it), it’s all part of their Bionic Learning Network:
Whether it’s energy efficiency, lightweight construction or function integration – over time, nature has developed a wealth of optimisation strategies for adapting to its environment, and these strategies can be applied to the world of engineering. The Biomechatronic Footprint documents this evolution – from a natural model to a basic technical principle, followed by bionic adaptation and ending with industrial application.
Apart from counterbalacing technology that could one day help people with prosthetic legs jump more ably, robo-roo also uses kinetic energy from each jump to help power its next jump — an interesting innovation indeed.
If you’d like to see what other robot overlords Festo will destroy us with in the future, you can also check out their entire menagerie of robo-animals including robotic penguins, jellyfish and birds.
See robo-roo in action AFTER THE JUMP...