The German automation specialist Festo and its Bionic Learning Network have spawned another creature: The Bionic Kangaroo. After recreating the motion mechanics of several fascinating aquatic and airborne animals they seem to now move on trying to learn the tricks nature applies to land based creatures.
With the BionicKangaroo, Festo has reproduced the unique way a kangaroo moves. Like its natural model, it can recover the energy when jumping, store it and efficiently use it for the next jump.
It combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology to produce a highly dynamic system. The stable jump kinematics plus the precise control technology ensure stability when jumping and landing. The consistent lightweight construction facilitates the unique jumping behavior.
The system is controlled by gestures with a Myo Armband. Festo paid particular attention to the mobile energy supply on the artificial kangaroo. For this purpose, the team even developed two different concepts – one with an integrated compressor and one with a mobile high-pressure storage device.
There is a detailed brochure on the project here. Altogether as always great marketing leading up to the Hannover Messe. Still impressive technology though.
Whatever you like to call it Gaffa, Gaffer or Duct Tape as we all know it fixes every problem. A theory proven in several Mythbusters specials on the famous unbeatable sticky tape.
But finally there might be some competition on the horizon. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts came up with a reusable sticky tape that is inspired by a geckos toes. A hand-sized patche of the material clings to smooth glass even while holding 300 kilograms of weight.
This is much more than any other reversible adhesive can hold, they say. The pads can be peeled off and reused over 100 times. Such materials could be used to attach TVs to a wall, make robots that scuttle up walls and windows, and hold together computer and car parts.