Disney's one-legged robot will hop its way into your heart

Bouncing is what Tiggers do best.

Disney's research division revealed last year that one of the company's goals is to bring its fictional characters to life... as robots. Well, folks, we may now be witnessing the birth of a robotic Tigger. The House of Mouse's scientists have designed a bouncy machine with one leg that can hop around without support. It can only stay upright for around 19 hops before it adorably topples over, but according to its creators, other one-legged robots and aren't as portable and can't balance on a single limb without a tether.

Tigger-bot, however, can naturally bounce on its own. The secret lies in its leg mechanism that the researchers call "Linear Elastic Actuator in Parallel" or LEAP. It uses compression springs to support the structure's weight and a voice coil that pushes against the ground. We're sure it helps that the whole leg can move forward, backward, right and left instead of staying rigid.

It will likely take a long, long time before you can buy an actual bouncy Tigger toy based on this design, though. Disney hasn't even admitted that it's making a robotic version of the friendly feline. For now, you can watch the video below and imagine the hopping machine as Pooh's friend, happily bouncing on his tail.