Can you balance on a pogo stick? Don't feel bad; neither can I. YouTube user (and University of San Diego grad student) jimboscotty posted several videos of a self-balancing robotic pogo stick that he presumably built. Why balance and bounce when a robot can do it for you?
This robo-pogo stick, called the iHop (no, not that IHOP), is built around a Texas Instruments Experiment Kit and Simulink, a MathWorks simulation and control environment. The iHop uses gyroscopes and accelerometers on each of the two flapping wing like structures to balance itself in real-time using Simulink. This video shows a superimposed graphic of the robot estimating where to move next. Even when the technologically advanced stick gets nudged it has no problem standing straight up.
I do not see much of a future for an autonomous robot pogo stick, but I could see this sort of self-balancing technology used in other future gadgets and robots. Could it be the future of motor vehicle travel? Let's hope not, but stay tuned to jimboscotty's YouTube page to find out.