Designed to explore rough, inaccessible terrain or to aid in search and rescue operations, researchers from the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have unveiled a novel, grasshopper-inspired jumping robot at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Pasadena, California. The robot weighs a miniscule 7 grams, and can jump 1.4 meters – more than 27 times its body size.
The researchers say the tiny machines could be fitted out with sensors to explore rough, inaccessible terrain or to aid in search and rescue operations. “This biomimetic form of jumping is unique because it allows micro-robots to travel over many types of rough terrain where no other walking or wheeled robot could go,” explains EPFL’s Dario Floreano. “These tiny jumping robots could be fitted with solar cells to recharge between jumps and deployed in swarms for extended exploration of remote areas on Earth or on other planets.”