Date:3 July 2017
The Salto-1P robot is designed to mimic how some jumping animals move around.
By Avery Thompson
Most robots that have legs are somewhat slow and bulky, and it’s hard for them to move around on uneven surfaces. Not so with UC Berkeley’s Salto-1P robot. This robot was built to jump high and move fast.
The researchers built the first version of the bot back in December, but this version has tiny thrusters designed to allow the bot to turn sideways. Salto also comes with a gyroscopic “tail” that tilts it forward or backward so it can land correctly for the next jump.
Watch the Salto-1P in action
The robot was designed to mimic the jumping abilities of many animals, which can often leap several times their height. They do this by crouching and storing power in their tendons, then releasing it all at once. Salto does the same, only instead of tendons it has springs.
The end result is a tiny robot that only weighs about 100 grams and is less than 15 centimetres tall, but can jump around 1,2 metres in the air. That brings us closer to replicating the incredible jumping feats of the animal kingdom, and perhaps we’ll see a jumping ability like this in more robots in the future.
Source: UC Berkeley via IEEE Spectrum
Video credit: BiomimeticMillisys