Kangaroo-Inspired Robot Vehicle Follows and Never Leaves Its Master


A robotic vehicle. / Photo by: cheskyw via 123RF


A new robotic vehicle has been developed in Japan with a maximum speed of 10 kilometers per hour and features a number of other capabilities.

The robot is called RidRoid CanguRo, named after the Italian word “canguro” which means kangaroo. While the robotic vehicle cannot jump like the marsupial, it can carry its passenger and their loads at a speed of more than six miles per hour. Since it can support heavy loads, it may be used to transport groceries from the shopping mall to your home.

The other capabilities of CanguRo include the following:

- It can be summoned by its owner using a smartphone.

- It can steer left or right if the owner leans to the desired direction while riding.

- It has a built-in body-sonic system and heartbeat-like pulses to notify its rider of the current speed.

- It has a smart stop function that kicks automatically after detecting a hazard.

“As a partner robot, it never leaves the side of its master. It transforms into a vehicle that augments its master’s physical functions -- motional and sensory -- and travels with the master as one. It is a machine lifeform produced from the latest robotics and AI technologies fused by product design,” stated Shunji Yamanaka of Future Robotics Technology Center at Chiba Institute of Technology.

This is not the only small-sized robotic vehicle expected to be produced in the next several years. Some companies like Honda are now developing small robotic transporters, designed for a single passenger and usable for both indoor and outdoor areas.

CanguRo is still under development and the team behind it is now working on adding speech capabilities so the owners can have a more personal experience when riding the vehicle. The robotic vehicle will be displayed at Japan House exhibition venue in Los Angeles this summer.