A group of four Russian robot fanatics calling themselves Konstantin Ivanov has built a walking ostrich robot with just US$1,500 and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. You can see it walking on a Russian television show, along with a robot-driven carriage, in the video after the break.
Their walking ostrich robot, which is made primarily out of wood, weighs 180 kg (396 lbs) and can stand on one leg. Its construction and the way it walks suggests it slides an internal weight over the supporting leg to keep its balance, a technique implemented in some of the first walking robots developed in Japan in the early 1970s.
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The ostrich robot may not be the most technologically advanced biped robot, but it was made on a budget to prove Konstantin Ivanov can keep their costs to a minimum. The team says it would like to build other types of robots based on those seen in sci-fi films like RoboCop and Star Wars, but to do so they need the help of a financial backer.
The team members – Sirotin, Jarmarkin, Stulov, and Isakov – come from a variety of backgrounds, including an aviation technician and an electronics engineer, but have no academic training in robotics. They may find their ultimate goal of building a robot saddle horse with a maximum speed of 70 km/h (43.3 mph) is a tad ambitious, given that the current land speed record for legged robots (set by Boston Dynamics' Cheetah robot) is 45.5 km/h (28.3 mph).