If there’s one thing we as a society could use more of, it’s car-juggling robots. Yes, you heard me. Just think of all the cars out there, parked or driving on the road, without the opportunity to be juggled by a giant robot.
Former NASA engineer Dan Granett has heard our prayers. The hydraulics expert who once designed mechanisms for experiments for space shuttle flights in the 1980s is taking machine-based amusement to a whole new level and, yes, it involves car-juggling.
Granett has designed a 70 ft tall robot entitled BugJuggler. Utilizing hydraulic cylinders, the BugJuggler would be able to simultaneously toss and catch up to three cars in the air. (Ideally, the vehicles would be Volkswagen Beetles, hence the “Bug” in the name.)
“BugJuggler represents a new frontier in robotic entertainment. Moving beyond the car crushing robots of the past century, BugJuggler will use 21st century technology to perform breathtaking feats including juggling up to three cars simultaneously,” the website reads.
In his design, the BugJuggler operator would climb a ladder into the robot’s head and operate the robot using what is known as a haptic feedback interface (meaning you would be able to control the robot using a sense of touch.) Powered by a diesel engine, the BugJuggler uses hydraulic accumulators and reinforced steel joints to perform the actual juggling.
At the moment, Granett is looking to build a human-scale prototype of the BugJuggler. The prototype is essentially a robotic arm that would ideally perform the same actions as the BugJuggler arm.
According to his Kickstarter page, “This working scale model of the giant car juggling robot will use the same sensory feedback controls and scaled down hydraulic components of the full size juggler. Here is where we test the limits of the speed, strength and agility of the technology.”
Additionally, Granett and his team are also seeking free-standing 6” and 12” models of the BugJuggler from any interested artists.
Or, take a look at the video below!