Bionic Kangaroo Hops Into the Future of Robotics

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Finally, a robot that successfully imitates a living thing without making you think of human extinction scenarios from The Terminator.

Germany-based Festo has unveiled its latest creation, the Bionic Kangaroo, a hopping robot fashioned in the image of a real kangaroo.

Weighing just over 15 pounds and standing 39 inches tall, the robot has the ability to jump forward at lengths of about two-and-a-half feet and has a vertical leap of a about one-and-a-half feet.

With an outer shell designed to mimic the form of a kangaroo, from its tiny front paws down to its curved tail, the robot jumps using pneumatic springs working in conjunction with sensors in its heels and main body. When it lands, it uses the recovered energy stored during leaps for its next jump.


The Bionic Kangaroo has two motors for the hips, one motor for the tail and, instead of a pouch, the robot’s stomach area contains a pressure accumulator.

The robot’s movements can be controlled through a user’s wireless armband. Using various arm motions, the wearer can direct the Bionic Kangaroo to hop forward or turn in small circles to change its direction.


Although the company has not offered any specific uses or commercial release details for the robot at present, the Bionic Kangaroo represents its latest successful attempt to robotically mimic the look and locomotion of a living creature.

This time last year, the company took the wraps off a flying robot called the BionicOpter, a tiny drone with the appearance and hovering movements of a real dragonfly.

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