Featured ROBOT of the Day:
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
Another great Boston Dynamics demonstration: this time, a unit with the ability to jump over tall obstacles. The sand flea jumping robot is an ingenious replication of the biomechanics of the sand flea. The real-life creature is like the leaf hopper or the kind of flea that you might find on your dog; this enlarged human-made robot is amazing in that it does not have the micro-scale advantage of its biological inspiration.
‘Sand Flea’ is not tiny. It is an 11 pound robot that drives like an RC car on flat terrain, but has the capaicty to jump 30 feet up in a high arc to overcome obstacles. That is high enough to jump over a compound wall, onto the roof of a house, up a set of stairs or into a second story window.
The robot uses gyro stabilization to stay level during its hoppy flight, to provide a clear view from the onboard camera, and to ensure a smooth landing. The Sand Flea can jump about 25 times on a single charge. Boston Dynamics is developing Sand Flea with funding from the US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF).