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Pogo-Style Robot Legs Allow 9-Foot Bounces 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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Pogo-Style Robot Legs Allow 9-Foot Bounces

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  • by mindbrane ( 1548037 ) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @07:18PM (#29224749) Journal
    ... for those you want dead.
    • Sort of reminds me of pogo stilts.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by W3bbo ( 727049 )
        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: [] )
        • 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.
        • 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...
    • Like the obnoxious neighbor kids? I'll take 2...
      • Didn't you tell them to get off your lawn? :)
        • Hey, these superpogo sticks'll get them off my lawn just that much quicker...
        • 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!"

    • by zobier ( 585066 )

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

  • 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 t

  • Just imagine, we may soon be able to watch nauseatingly bouncy video footage of the moon courtesy of the pogobot!
  • 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 (Score:3, Funny)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @07:44PM (#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.

    • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Thursday August 27, 2009 @07:56PM (#29225171) Journal
      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.
    • by Sinical ( 14215 )

      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!"

  • [] Gas powered pogo, I'm sure that sounded like a good idea at the time, I mean what could possibly go wrong?
  • A 9-foot vertical won't be enough to clear the university's new 40-foot [] artificial geyser [].

  • We've invented a mechanical flea!

  • Slashvertisement? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fizzl ( 209397 ) <<ten.lzzif> <ta> <lzzif>> on Thursday August 27, 2009 @11:36PM (#29226713) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • 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. Thi

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN