Feeds

Mechanical monster macropod LEAPS out of the lab

Don't teach it boxing, okay?

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

If you want evidence for the sad state of science in Australia, here it is: the world's first bionic kangaroo has been developed in Germany.

Tool-maker turned industrial automation specialist Festo is responsible for the two-year project that's given the world the robot 'roo.

Not only has the mechanical macropod a movement modelled on Australia's iconic critter, it also imitates the kangaroo's approach to energy-efficiency by storing the energy acquired when it lands, and using it for the next hop.

The locomotion uses an elastic Achilles tendon designed to mimic the anatomy of a real 'roo. To jump, the tendon is pre-tensioned and released, with power coming from a combination of electric drives and compressed air. What the company is pleased about, though, is what the recovery of kinetic energy upon landing, in that Achilles tendon: this reduces the amount of energy needed for the next jump, or allows the robot to accelerate without expending too much extra energy.

At rest, the robot has three points of contact with the ground – two feet and a tail – which vastly simplifies the control needed for balance.

Festo's 'mechanical roo' height=

Does my bum look big with all this kit in it?

Vulture South notes that there's another advantage to a roo-shaped (to quibble, the Festo creation looks more wallaby-shaped to us) design: the, ahem, rear-heavy shape provides a handy place in which to pack the necessary kit.

In fact, there's only one downside to the whole thing that The Register can identify. Even though the news took off internationally on April 2 and 3, Festo's original video was posted on YouTube on – you guessed it – April 1. Hmm. ®

Youtube Video

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1
Beijing fears it could beam secrets back to America
Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!
How many As? Reg hack's writing cops a shoeing
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.