I like kangaroos and apparently so do German engineers.  For the past couple of years they have been developing a kangaroo-like robot. Called  BionicKangaroo  or “Festo” this little guy weighs in at just 15 lbs and measures about 3’3”tall.  “Festo” can jump a little over one foot with each bound and is controlled by a person wearing an armband controller and gesturing.

I think the most fascinating and innovative thing about this new robotic experiment is that it powers itself, recovering energy from each hop to power the next. It is reported to have pneumatically pretensioned elastic springs on the legs that give it a partial charge upon each landing.

As well as the elastic spring, the company’s Bionic Learning Network also installed a small storage tank to provide high pressure air for the pneumatic muscles to power the movement of the robot.

According to the creator Dr Heinrich Frontzek ‘With the BionicKangaroo we have precisely reproduced the most characteristic features of natural kangaroos: recuperating and storing energy, and then releasing it once more in the next bound.’

Cool and cute to boot.