Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Jumping Bionic Kangaroo

Jumping kinematics that are efficient and allow for energy recovery

 
Bionic Kangaroo

Festo is well-known in the robotics industry for its eye-catching aesthetics. They proved this in 2011 at the TEDGlobal event in Edinburgh with their robotic seagull, and afterwards with creations like their BionicOpter or the Dr. Octopus-like robotic arms we just discussed.

This German company has now produced a one-of-a-kind robotic kangaroo as part of its "Bionic Learning Network," a program that aims to employ natural principles to "inspire technical applications." The so-called BionicKangaroo imitates kangaroo behavior and is capable of recovering energy from one jump in order to fuel the next. That is exactly what kangaroos do in the wild, and in Festo's design, that process is accomplished via an elastic spring that "recharges" the legs after each hop.

The robot is only one meter tall and weighs seven kilograms, but it can jump 0.4 meters vertically and 0.8 meters horizontally. The pneumatic muscles that allow the bionic kangaroo to jump are powered by an internal battery and a compressor that generates high-pressure air. Because of the energy gained in each previous jump, following jumps cost less and less energy as the robot continues to hop.


In the Bionic Learning Network, new propulsion systems and modes of movement have always played a vital role. That's why we took the kangaroo's distinctive motion and applied it to the Bionic Kangaroo on a technical level. It can recuperate the energy from the jump, store it in its Achilles tendon, and utilise it efficiently for the next jump, much like its natural model.

An elastic rubber band performs the vital function of the native Achilles tendon. It is linked to the back of the leg and runs parallel to the knee joint's pneumatic cylinder, which initiates the jump. With the same manner as a natural kangaroo, the artificial tendon cushions the hop when it hits the ground, absorbs the kinetic energy, and releases it for the next jump.

Jumping behavior that is both stable and dynamic

During leaps and landings, condition monitoring and precision control and regulation technology provide steadiness. The pneumatic technology helps the robot kangaroo reach its great jumping force. Wherever maximal positional accuracy is necessary, such as in the regulation of the tail and hips, electric motors are used. In a highly dynamic system, the artificial kangaroo demonstrates how pneumatic and electric drive technology may be coupled efficiently and intelligently.

Gesture control allows for intuitive operation.

Gestures are used to control the Bionic Kangaroo. It is started by moving one's hand. Your hand revolves on its own axis as you wave it. A unique armband records the user's movements and communicates them to the artificial kangaroo's controller via Bluetooth.

On-board power supply for mobile devices

The artificial kangaroo's transportable power supply was given considerable consideration by our engineers. The team even came up with two separate concepts: one with a built-in compressor and the other with a mobile high-pressure accumulator. The locomotory apparatus is made up of carbon-reinforced laser-sintered components. This implies that the nearly one-meter-tall artificial animal weighs just under 7 kg and can jump 40 cm high and 80 cm wide.

 

Article Author Gerluxe Image: festo

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