Newfangled Pogo Stick Soars 9 Feet

The BowGo pogo stick, developed at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, can soar 9 feet off the ground. (Image credit: Carnegie Mellon)

We're not certain anyone should try this at home, but modern pogo sticks routinely soar 8 feet into the air. One developed at the Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute can clear 9 feet or more. In case you need a comparison, that'd put your feet above the typical home's roof gutter.

The BowGo uses not a traditional coil spring, so yesterday, but a fiberglass bow of high tensile strength.

The fiber-reinforced composite bow can store as much as five times the elastic energy per unit of mass as a steel coil spring, says BowGo's inventor Ben Brown, a Robotics Institute project scientist.

The bending bow avoids the problem of friction created by the old-fashioned coil springs, which inevitably buckle sideways.

"This feels very different from other pogo sticks, including the extreme sticks now on the market that use elastic bands or air springs," Brown said. "It's very smooth, and you can jump really high."

And you can compete. Folks now use advanced pogos for stunt competitions and, of course, the high jump. 

Live Science Staff
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