Mowgli Leaping Frog Robot

Mowgli is a robot that leaps like a frog thanks to its air-powered muscles. University of Tokyo engineers built this amazing robot, able to leap fifty centimeters into the air.

(Mowgli air-powered leaping frog robot)

Mowgli's expertise extends to more than simply jumping up. The leaping robot can also jump down safely.

(Mowgli air-powered leaping frog robot youtube video)

Here's what Ryuma Niiyama, Akihiko Nagakubo and Yasuo Kuniyoshi have to say about Mowgli:

Mowgli's artificial musculoskeletal system consists of six McKibben pneumatic muscle actuators including bi-articular muscle and two legs with hip, knee, and ankle joints. Mowgli can reach jump heights of more than 50% of its body height and can land softly. Our results show a proximo-distal sequence of joint extensions during jumping despite simultaneous motor activity. Extensions in the whole body motion are caused by the compliance and the natural dynamics of the legs. In addition to the experiments with the real robot, we also simulated two types of open loop controllers for vertical jumping with disturbance. We found that the model controlled by open loop motor command through a muscle-tendon mechanism could jump robustly. The simulation results demonstrate the contribution of the artificial musculoskeletal system as a physical feedback loop in explosive movements.

Mowgli joins the steadily increasing zoo of biomimetically inspired robots like the worm-like gummi bots, the lamprey robot and of course RoboSalmon, a swimming robot that keeps track of the real fish.

Via Air-powered leaping robot created in Tokyo and Mowgli: a jumping robot.

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