This new robot is able to reach record-setting heights, using technology that may benefit future space missions with its massive jumps.
Jumping robots have been around for a while, but a new design is the first to leap to an incredible height of over 100 feet. This is three times higher than the previous best high jumper, a robot designed by Boston Dynamics. Besides the explosive springiness of this particular machine, the most interesting thing about the robot is that the researcher didn’t follow the recent trend of looking to nature for a solution. Realizing animals couldn’t reach the target heights, the next challenge was to find a way to power such a massive launch while keeping the weight low.
Before walking robots became common, there was an interest in overcoming obstacles that prevented a rolling machine from progressing any further. Treads help to an extent but can only scrabble over relatively small heights. The answer is climbing, flying, or jumping. Climbing might be even more challenging than walking since there are many unknowns to account for. Flying requires a continual and significant amount of energy, leaving jumping as the best solution.