Hopping Robot Sets Record

A hopping robot five centimeters tall has set a record by jumping 27 times its own height, breaking the previous record of just 17 times.

Clever designers at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerlandused a motor designed to power the vibration unit of a pager drives the gears that wind the robot's springs. Watch the "grasshopper robot" do its stuff in the video shown below.


(Hopping grasshopper robot video)

This biomimetic robot makes use of a basic fact about grasshoppers and other similar insects; hopping is a very useful strategy for navigating rough terrain. The robot's designers hope that this research will lead to explorational robots both here on Earth (for disaster work) and on other planets.

The little robot (it only weighs seven grams) takes about 3.5 seconds to fully "wind" its springs; a 10 mAh battery can power 108 jumps.

Readers may recall another hopping robot prototype; consider these hopping microrobots.



(Hopping microrobots)

Dr. Penelope Boston and Dr. Steven Dubowsky have developed the idea of a swarm of "hopping microrobots" capable of exploring hazardous terrain, including underground caves. Prototypes should be on the way soon; they received phase II funding from NASA. Dr. Boston describes them this way:

In Phase I, we wanted to focus on robotic units that were small, very numerous (hence expendable), largely autonomous, and that had the mobility that was needed for getting into rugged terrains. Based on Dr. Dubowsky's ongoing work with artificial-muscle-activated robotic motion, we came up with the idea of many, many, tiny little spheres, about the size of tennis balls, that essentially hop, almost like Mexican jumping beans. They store up muscle energy, so to speak, and then they boink themselves off in various directions. That's how they move.

Update 11-Oct-2016: Take a look at the Hopper from Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus (1954) by Isaac Asimov. End update:

Also, in their hybrid insect MEMS program, DARPA is specifically hoping that contractors will work with hopping insects (see Hybrid Insect MEMS Sought By DARPA For Bug Army). Also, take a look at this prototype jockey-ridden hopping robot video created by the same guys who brought you the BigDog robot.

Via 'Grasshopper' robot sets high-jump record; Read more about the hopping microrobots. Thanks to Moira for the tip on the hopping robot.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/22/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.

Pooper Scooper Drone Robot Watchdog 1
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk...' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
There's even a log test!

Hundreds Of Robot Lawnmowers Invade Texas Town
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself...' - Clifford Simak, 1944.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...'

Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
'... the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond.'

Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'

'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Taxi Fleet In 3 Years
'... the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings.'

Is 'The Pulsar Positioning System' Evidence For SETI?
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

Someday, You Might Like VR Enough To Move In
'That barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Humans Use Mental Power For Turtle Slavery
Now we need to start looking for animals with fingers...

Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

DxtER! Tricorder Prize Won By Final Frontier Medical Devices
We've been waiting a long time for this, Star Trek fans.

President Trump's Wall As Otra Nation Hyperloop
'...an hollow tube must be constructed the whole distance... as to admit a four wheeled carriage...'

Pickup Lines From Artificial Intelligences
'They hate us, you know... The humans. They'll stop at nothing.'

Pooper Scooper Drone Robot Watchdog 1
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk...'

Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
There's even a log test!

Hundreds Of Robot Lawnmowers Invade Texas Town
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.