Usually, when you think of innovative experiments and machines, you associate them with reputable universities and research centers. Interestingly enough, Disney Research is among them, even if you think of something else when you hear the name of the film studio. The latest device they have developed is Stickman, a robot made of a long individual limb that can perform various flexible movements.
Stickman is an incredibly flexible one-limb robot
Although it sounds a bit odd, Disney Research is actually well-known for a series of interesting experiments that do not cease to amaze. However, they aren’t only strange, as most of the time they are actually useful. This time, the scientific organization decided to surprise us with the flexible robot Stickman.
Researchers called Stickman a robot, but it’s far from being a humanoid-like figure. The whole formation is actually just one limb that is long and flexible. This shape allows it a certain freedom in movements, as it can be pretty acrobatic. Here’s how Stickman works.
The simple robot has two degrees of freedom and, on top of that, it uses a pendulum mechanism to move. To get propelled into movement, it first needs to swing on a rope. Afterwards, it can easily launch into the air and perform some acrobatics.
The robot also has some mechanisms that calculate its exact position
However, these movements are not just random aerial twirls. The entire Stickman mechanism is equipped with a special laser finder, as well some other complex axes of measurement. They can calculate the exact position of the robot while in air, and then adjust it accordingly.
Even if Stickman doesn’t have a human shape, it still imitates human movements. Researchers programmed its acrobatics based on the moves executed by human performers. However, at some point, the robot might get even better. Researchers are going to experiment with its flexibility and explore the possibility of more complex stunts.
They even wrote a paper on Stickman, called “Towards a Human Scale Acrobatic Robotic”, and is available on Disney Research’s website.
Image source: Flickr