Hop, skip and jumping robots
February 11, 2013 |
Jumping robots powered by a combustion engine? Sounds like something from 1930s sci-fi.
New leaps and bounds in heat-resistant materials mean soft-bodied silicon robots can now use controlled explosions, like those in car engines, to make them jump really high.
An electrode sparks a reaction in the simple robot’s leg. This releases lots of energy downwards, making the robot hop up to 30 cm off the ground.
This jump in innovation could lead to new search-and-rescue robots designed to leap and do cartwheels over obstacles.
This research appears in the 8 February 2013 issue of the journal Nature.
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