This grasshopper-inspired bot from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology lays claim to the robot high-jump record, which it was able to capture handily by jumping 27 times its own height. That was done with the aid of a motor originally designed to power the vibration unit of a pager which, in this case, winds up two metal springs that eventually release and spring the 5-centimeter tall bot into the air. What's more, while it doesn't have any means of directing itself or even landing on its feet just yet, the researchers behind the bot eventually hope to add some solar panels, sensors, and a microprocessor to it, which they say could one day allow swarms of 'em to explore disaster areas, or even hop their way around the surface of other planets.
Article Link (Engadget)
PopSci is showing off a cute little robot that will use grasshopper principles to get a leg (or two) up during search-and-rescue operations. Dario Floreano and Mirko Kovac of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems in Lausanne, Switzerland built this two-inch, 7-gram wonder capable of leaping eight feet in the air while carrying tiny cameras and sensors. Apparently landing isn't as easy for the thing, so it's good that Floreano and Kovac are also skilled at making little flying bots. They will combine the two insectoid talents for maximum potency.
Article Link (Gizmodo)