Adorable Hopping ‘Bot Turns Delta Kinematics Upside Down

“Gertie,” here, is a work-in-progress from Alameda resident and Pixar character technical director Alonso Martinez. The design stands conventional delta robot kinematics literally on its head, using the parallel linkage as a nimble, flexible “foot,” rather than as an arm equipped with an end effector.


MF14BA_Badge-01The video embedded up top was uploaded in November 2013, and though the sound isn’t great, it’s definitely worth watching to get a feel for how brilliantly this idea succeeds in creating expressive movement — even in this early prototype stage, Gertie is like a cartoon character brought to life. The concept renderings and photos immediately above show a later version of the same design. Martinez plans to premiere the first complete Gertie prototype at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014. If you’re going to be in northern California the weekend of May 17, don’t miss the chance to come by and see what’s hopping jumping off going on.

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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