Jump to height of 9 floors: Unique robot to prepare for the Moon

Comics and science fiction films demonstrate the superhuman abilities of superheroes, capable of jumping to absurd heights. But such pop culture sows the seeds of interesting and sometimes ambitious ideas that can be implemented for the benefit of humanity. The latest creation of such an engineering idea is a robot capable of jumping up to the height of a 9-floors building at a time. Nature magazine writes about the unique creation.

Jumping robot (without a name) capable of climbing to a height of 30 m on Earth and 125 m on the Moon. Photo: Nature

Jumping robot was developed by a team led by Elliot Hawkes, a professor of engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His creation is capable of reaching a height of about 30 m. The developers say that this is the highest figure among all known natural or artificially created similar mechanisms for jumping.

The robot weighing 14 g has a small motor connected to a spring consisting of compression arcs made of carbon fiber, bent by rubber bands, which are connected to a spindle driven by a motor. In the video below, you can see how the robot jumps to the top of the cliff, straightens up, and then pulls the spring again, preparing for the next jump.

According to Professor Hawkes, the basis of the robot’s chassis can be used to explore the Moon, where it would be useful in studying difficult terrain. The fact is that on our natural moon the force of gravity is 6 times weaker than on Earth, which means that such a jumping robot will be able to climb an order of magnitude higher than on Earth. At the same time, it might use jumps to travel long distances, which would be much faster than existing slow moon rovers.

“We calculated that the vehicle on such a jumping chassis on the Moon would be able to climb to a height of 125 meters, and in one jump would cover a distance of half a kilometer,” the professor said.

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