An Engineer in Wonderland – Hopping robot

hopping-robot-small.jpgThose clever robot designers at Boston Dynamics in the US, together with Sandia Labs, have created a shoe box-sized vehicle that can jump over obstacles 7m high.

For military use, and intended to be finished this year, the Precision Urban Hopper can jump over or on to as many as 30 obstacles that are 40-60 times its own height.

“Hopping mobility has been shown to be five times more efficient than hovering when traversing obstacles at heights under 10 meters, which allows longer station-keeping time for the same amount of fuel,” said Sandia.

“Researchers addressed several technical challenges, including appropriate management of shock forces during landing, controlling hop height from varying terrain including concrete, asphalt, sand and vegetation and controlling landings to limit tumbling.”

There is a video

Technically fascinating but, if one was chasing you, potentially terrifying.


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  1. 'Alice'
    January 20, 2010 14:36

    So would I
    And what kind of power source can supply all those hops?
    Airbag actuators?

  2. Steve Kurt
    January 08, 2010 04:08

    holy cow….
    that’s amazing, in a weird, bizarre sort of way. I’d love to see a slow-motion video showing exactly how they do that.

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