No, the Robo-roo is not a bionic version of Manchester United’s best paid player in history, Wayne Rooney, but rather, is an affectionate name for this bizarre looking bionic kangaroo which boasts of self-recharging legs, virtually allowing it to hop forever. Known as the Bionic Kangaroo from Festo, this particular robot is controlled using hand gestures.
In fact, in a single jump, the Bionic Kangaroo is able to efficiently recover enough energy for it to perform the next, although one would wonder whether it will go on indefinitely since some energy is lost due to friction in the air, not to mention loss via heat and noise, too, which would make the amplitude of one jump to the next drop. Taking a page from nature, the Bionic Kangaroo emulates the real deal’s tendons like elastic springs, and as an end result, such research could eventually spill over to improve industrial automation systems that manufacture products including cars and computers.
The elastic spring will partially ‘charge’ the legs upon landing, while the company’s Bionic Learning Network also has a small storage tank that delivers high pressure air for the pneumatic muscles to continue moving the robot forward in the right direction. The whole Bionic Kangaroo tips the scales at 7kg, standing tall at 1 meter, but is capable of hopping 40 cm vertically, clearing 80cm horizontally.