Robots that can jump are nothing new, but Jianguo Zhao, a PhD student at Michigan State, has developed a robot that can not only jump in the air, but when it comes down, it can right itself, and jump again. Now in its third generation, Zhao’s robot can jump up to 36 inches in the air the way a frog does, propelling itself upward.
And though landing always presents a problem for robots, it doesn’t matter. Because the robot uses a kickstand to quickly prop itself back up and it’s ready to go again. In order to stay on target and keep itself pointed in the same direction, it can also steer.
It’s all controlled with a single pager motor, which helps to keep the bot tiny and efficient. It only needs a charge e every 285 jumps; whereas I would need a charge or a rest after just 10 or so.
This little jumper weighs just 55 grams and it’s a great design that will allow robots to make their way around obstacles more efficiently.