The Walking Ostrich Robot: Russia’s Gift To The World

By Nick Venable | 8 years ago

Not every robot in the world needs to be sleek, shiny, and full of gun turrets in order to be badass. Sometimes the goofiest-looking bots are the most impressive, due to the ideas and craftsmanship involved. And, of course, goofy robots have far less of a chance of destroying humanity, so it’s pretty easy to hop on their bandwagon.

Nothing is hopping in the video below, but there is some walking involved. Four Russian robo-thusiasts who call themselves Konstantin Ivanov created a walking ostrich robot using only $1,500 worth of wood, electronics, and ingenuity. Presumably vodka was also in the mix, guiding their decision to model the robot after an ostrich, instead of one of nature’s more vicious birds, like the peacock or titmouse. I make fun, but this huge chunk of mobility is quite a sight, and I’d be honored to own one as a pet.

Granted, we never actually see the bird walking with a person on its back, but I’m assuming that was probably for insurance purposes. The robot, which weighs in at close to 400 lbs., uses a sliding internal weight in order to achieve the walking motion, a technique started by the Japanese in the 1970s.

Konstantin Ivanov’s members — Sirotin, Jarmarkin, Stulov, and Isalpv — have no official education in building robots, but are now seeking funding in order to reproduce robots from films such as Robocop and Star Wars, with the ostrich proving they know how to budget themselves properly. The group’s ultimate goal is to create a robot saddle horse that breaks the land speed record for legged robots, held by Boston Dynamics’ Cheetah-bot, which reached top speeds of 28.3 mph. If the team creates a T-1000 that tears ass across the ground at over 30 mph, I’ll never sleep again.

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