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Pogo-Style Robot Legs Allow 9-Foot Bounces

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the mind-the-parquet dept.

Robotics 42

destinyland writes "A new pogo stick jumps nine feet using legs developed for running robots. (It replaces the stick's spring with a fiber-reinforced 'bow' that was developed at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics institute.) One scientist even suggests robots could use its 'BowGo' technology in the low-gravity environment of the moon. 'Hopping many meters above ground level, the robot would have an excellent view of the terrain.'"

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Make A Great Xmas Gift (3, Funny)

mindbrane (1548037) | about 5 years ago | (#29224749)

... for those you want dead.

Re:Make A Great Xmas Gift (1)

clockwise_music (594832) | about 5 years ago | (#29224801)

Sort of reminds me of pogo stilts.

Re:Make A Great Xmas Gift (2, Informative)

W3bbo (727049) | about 5 years ago | (#29225315)

Their full name is "Powerbocking Stilts" actually, and they use a bow-spring as well, they've been around since 2004. I think CMU needs to move with the times. The claims about 9-foot jumps seems about right, the world record for a bock-assisted jump is just over 7 feet. I was at a bocking event in London last weekend, actually. (Photos: [] )

Re:Make A Great Xmas Gift (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29225833)

Now you just need somebody in that Victorian steam-punk garb to go around RP'ing as Spring Heeled Jack [] . I'm sure some people would get the joke and find it amusing. (But if they go off the main Wikipedia pic, they might get mistaken for trying to be Batman.)

Speaking of Spring Heeled Jack, that story makes me wonder if this kind of invention is older than we think it is. Not like spring steel and the necessary mechanics were unknown back then, so it seems plausible. Yet could anyone back it up by finding a really old obituary record involving an unusual fall or ceiling-related incident?

Re:Make A Great Xmas Gift (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | about 5 years ago | (#29226097)

Powerbocking looks awesome. I remember seeing it on Time Warp as a powerbocker did a front flip over a car length-wise; and, yea, it does look suspiciously similar to what this "new" patented invention does. It's also similar in concept to the carbon-fiber prosthetic legs [] used by some athletes. Way to go CMU, you've patented another pre-existing idea.

Re:Make A Great Xmas Gift (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 5 years ago | (#29227221)

Seems like this could be a killer technique for those robot-gladiator competitions, too. Maybe combined with some sort of stiletto to impale its opponent. Maybe it's already been done...

Re:Make A Great Xmas Gift (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 5 years ago | (#29225783)

Like the obnoxious neighbor kids? I'll take 2...

Re:Make A Great Xmas Gift (1)

cailith1970 (1325195) | about 5 years ago | (#29226197)

Didn't you tell them to get off your lawn? :)

Re:Make A Great Xmas Gift (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 5 years ago | (#29226991)

Hey, these superpogo sticks'll get them off my lawn just that much quicker...

Re:Make A Great Xmas Gift (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | about 5 years ago | (#29228649)

The neighbours kids make great fertilizer for the lawn. you just need to pulverize the bones sufficiently. The way that a fall from a great enough height would do.

I need to order 4 sets and about 3 sq.m of new turf.

"Damned kids, get into my lawn!"

Re:Make A Great Xmas Gift (1)

zobier (585066) | about 5 years ago | (#29226301)

I, for one, welcome our new moshing-pogo-robot overlords.

Imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29224839)

A BowGolf Cluster of these!

How would a robot do this? (1)

improfane (855034) | about 5 years ago | (#29224901)

Since this is powered by your GPE, the robots will have to be pretty heavy to start but where would the downward force come from?

Would the central shaft be hydraulic to provide the initial compression?
How does a robot become a dead weight?

Give this a 1080 camera like the high speed hand [] and you could have a robot that knows exactly where to go, which direction to shift its weight.

We could have high speed robot sports. I have something called straight spine so is likely to be painful for me. Trampolines do the same thing.

On the moon (1)

Okomokochoko (1490679) | about 5 years ago | (#29224975)

Just imagine, we may soon be able to watch nauseatingly bouncy video footage of the moon courtesy of the pogobot!

Re:On the moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29226223)

Look on the bright side. It won't take long for people to figure out:
  1. Give BowGo sticks to some large-breasted girls
  2. ???
  3. Profit!!!

i'd rather see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29224977)

a revised version of Moon Shoes using this newfangled ROBOT FEETS technology.

Spoilers (1)

Kratisto (1080113) | about 5 years ago | (#29224991)

This will be the gimmick in the next Mirror's Edge. Sure, free running around a distopian future is fun, but wouldn't it be more fun if you were also a deadly, deadly robot?

Fiberglass (3, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 years ago | (#29225021)

TFA says it's basically a fiberglass bow.

Over time, fiberglass will crack and weaken (severely accelerated by moisture).

Some kid will be coming down from his 9 foot jump, the bow will fail, and he'll break his legs.

Re:Fiberglass (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 5 years ago | (#29225171)

I'm sure there will be *A LOT* more broken bones from normal operation of the device, than from failure of the device. eg: coming down from a 9 foot jump and slipping off the foot pedal, coming down from a 9 foot jump and getting launched backwards or sideways, coming down from a 9 foot jump after realizing there was only 8 feet of head space.

Re:Fiberglass (3, Insightful)

gapagos (1264716) | about 5 years ago | (#29225651)

Shh...!!! This is gonna make a lot of lawyers and doctors very happy! The main driving factor of American's economy!

Re:Fiberglass (1)

Atario (673917) | about 5 years ago | (#29227119)


So you're suggesting that doctors like it when people get injured?

Welcome to cynicism, terminal stage. It won't be long now till you're finished.

Re:Fiberglass (1)

gapagos (1264716) | about 5 years ago | (#29229889)

American Doctors, yes. American Insurance companies, no.
In countries with "komunistz healthcare" like Canada, France, Germany or the U.K., it's another matter.

Relax you guys (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | about 5 years ago | (#29226389)

The summary makes clear only that the pogo stick jumps nine feet. It says nothing about the rider.

Re:Relax you guys (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 5 years ago | (#29231385)

Whereas the ARTICLE clearly states they expect extreme pogo athletes to go 9 or 9.5 feet on the thing.

Re:Relax you guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29238669)

the ARTICLE also states that the sound the athlete makes while flying over your head is


Re:Fiberglass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29230355)

You must be a hit at parties.

Re:Fiberglass (1)

Sinical (14215) | about 5 years ago | (#29234663)

Just think: when it does break like this, it might go off like a bomb and spray fragments all over the place. How many toys can you buy that provide for friendly fire mass casualties?

Yeah, I think that needs to go in the sales pitch. "Bowgo: so awesome it kills your friends!"

See also... (1)

jamesfalloon (712634) | about 5 years ago | (#29225221) [] Gas powered pogo, I'm sure that sounded like a good idea at the time, I mean what could possibly go wrong?

Many metres? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29225267)

9 feet is only 2.74 metres. Hardly 'many'.

Re:Many metres? (1)

radtea (464814) | about 5 years ago | (#29226299)

9 feet is only 2.74 metres. Hardly 'many'.

On my reading of the article they've only attained a height of 42 inches so far--the 9 or 9 1/2 feet is speculation. /.: news that's wrong, stuff that's false.

Control on landing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29225457)

I guess it's great to be able to jump that high ONCE.

red dwarf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29225543)

when can i go hopping around titan in a taxi using these?

beaten by other CMU tech unveiled this week (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 years ago | (#29225675)

A 9-foot vertical won't be enough to clear the university's new 40-foot [] artificial geyser [] .

Re:beaten by other CMU tech unveiled this week (1)

RegTooLate (1135209) | about 5 years ago | (#29226263)

9 feet of vertical leap should be enough for anyone.

Seems a lot like air trekkers but lamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29225991)

They've been around for a while and use carbon fiber bows. People pull off some pretty crazy stunts with them. There's other brands too and any of them seem more versatile than a pogo stick. []

Good job... (1)

CustomDesigned (250089) | about 5 years ago | (#29226429)

We've invented a mechanical flea!

Re:Good job... (1)

liquiddark (719647) | about 5 years ago | (#29226669)

You forgot the word "giant". It's not B-list science fiction until it's giant.

Slashvertisement? (2, Insightful)

Fizzl (209397) | about 5 years ago | (#29226713)

80% of the article seem to be centering around promoting some event called pogopalooza6. I would have been curious to see more videos about the BowGo and its scientific possibilities. All I got was 5 minute promotional video with traditional pogo-sticks and 10 seconds of someone bouncing on the BowGo.

This is bizarre. I feel confused.

now protect brain from 100 mph wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29227019)

you know you want to.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29227183)

I've seen similar technology available in superior formats
For example:

Bad Title (1)

chrisG23 (812077) | about 5 years ago | (#29232457)

Do the approvers of article submissions RTFA? The article says this pogo stick has been able to clear a bar 42 inches high. How does that become 9 feet jumps? I know, the article says that the high jump competitors this year are going to probably be able to clear a 9 foot bar.

Clearing a 9-foot bar with your whole body (and presumably landing on your back on a mat or something) != != != != != a pogo stick bouncing 9 feet. The signal to noise ratio on Slashdot is becoming increasingly bad in my opinion. Things getting worse include articles, article titles and summaries, and comments, as this has become more of a humor forum than a discussion of cool nerdy shit from cool nerdy people. Humor is good, but absence of meaningful comments is not good, in my opinion (for this site that is.)

Why didn't I think of that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29237149)

It's the same fiberglass spring as the one in a set of spring-stilts (Powerisers, etc). And they'll throw my 200lb carcass over a vehicle. Darn and blast!

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