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High-jumping robot could aid rescue efforts

China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-08 07:23

High-jumping robot could aid rescue efforts

A new robot designed for vertical jumping agility is shown in Berkeley, California, in November. [Photo/Agencies]

An agile jumping robot, inspired by some of the animal world's best leapers, could one day help in rescue efforts after earthquakes or building collapses, US scientists said on Tuesday.

Known as Salto, the 26-centimeter-tall robot can jump higher than a bullfrog and almost as high as a gala-go, or bush baby, a small primate found in Africa.

The robot can jump 1 meter in less than a second, according to a report in the journal Science Robotics. That's better than a human, but not the highest of any robot-other machines have been made that can jump more than 3 meters in a single leap.

Salto does hold the crown in vertical-jumping agility, which researchers define as the ratio of the maximum jump height to the time it takes to complete one jump.

"To have a high vertical-jumping agility, you have to be able to jump high and do it quickly," said Duncan Haldane, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of the study.

According to co-author Justin Yin, "Salto can jump to a height of 1 meter in 0.58 seconds and be immediately ready to jump again."

This means Salto can achieve a vertical-jumping agility of 1.75 meters per second, the highest such ratio of any robot to date.

Salto, which is an acronym for "saltatorial locomotion on terrain obstacles", weighs just 100 grams. The one-legged robot can jump from the floor, flip forward and then kick off a wall, reaching even greater heights.

Researchers hope to aid rescuers by offering a robot that can easily navigate rubble and tough terrain.

The single-legged prototype was developed for lab experimentation and is not ready for real-life use.

Agence France Press


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