US researchers create robot that jumps

Aug 13, 2013 by Keith Collins
Engineering professor Daniel Koditschek, left, and doctoral student Aaron Johnson pose for a portrait as they demonstrate the X-RHex Lite robot, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Researchers at the university have given the new robot a leg up on its ancestors by outfitting it with jumping and climbing abilities. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Researchers in the U.S. have put together a robot that can jump and climb.

That could make it particularly useful for military search missions or supply transport.

The RHex at the University of Pennsylvania began about 15 years ago, when researchers at several universities began asking how robots could be able to traverse rugged terrain as well as animals do.

Legged robots, unlike wheeled ones, have the animal-like ability to overcome obstacles like stairs and ledges. But until the latest RHex, developed by engineering professor Daniel Koditschek and doctoral student Aaron Johnson, legged robots couldn't negotiate gaps in terrain any better than robots with wheels.

Johnson has developed mechanisms that allow the to jump over gaps and holes that it previously would have fallen into. And where tall ledges would typically block a robot's path, RHex can maneuver onto platforms more than four times its own height.

Koditschek and Johnson designed the latest version of RHex using lightweight carbon fiber. This allows it to perform its leaping and climbing functions without consuming too much power.

The X-RHex Lite robot at the University of Pennsylvania, has its ability to jump demonstrated on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, in Philadelphia. Researchers at the university have given a new robot a leg up on its ancestors by outfitting it with jumping and climbing abilities. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The X-RHex Lite robot is shown at the University of Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, in Philadelphia. Researchers at the university have given the new robot a leg up on its ancestors by outfitting it with jumping and climbing abilities. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The RHex project was originally funded by the Department of Defense division that's in charge of developing , and the latest version is funded by the U.S. Army.

Explore further: DALER project shows a walking flying robot (w/ Video)

3.7 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A robot that jumps, flips, and does pull-ups

Jul 25, 2013

RHex is an all-terrain walking robot that could one day climb over rubble in a rescue mission or cross the desert with environmental sensors strapped to its back.

The RHex takes a leap at robotics conference (w/ Video)

May 10, 2013

(Phys.org) —University of Pennsylvania robotics teams are at it again, this time coming up with a robot that aggressively expands the range of how many moves can be made to successfully cross rough terrain ...

DALER project shows a walking flying robot (w/ Video)

Aug 04, 2013

(Phys.org) —At the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems we are developing a novel flying platform which has the ability to move on the ground by using its wings only. Using the wings as whegs to move on rough ...

3D printer-built robot has insect moves (w/ Video)

Aug 03, 2013

(Phys.org) —Some robotics experts focused on biomimicry have turned to work in tech hives where their tiny robots are designed to imitate the moves of insects. At UC Berkleley's Biomimetic Millisystems ...

Recommended for you

SR Labs research to expose BadUSB next week in Vegas

35 minutes ago

A Berlin-based security research and consulting company will reveal how USB devices can do damage that can conduct two-way malice, from computer to USB or from USB to computer, and can survive traditional ...

US warns retailers on data-stealing malware

2 hours ago

US government cybersecurity watchdogs warned retailers Thursday about malware being circulated that allows hackers to get into computer networks and steal customer data.

Android grabs 85% of smartphone market: survey

2 hours ago

Smartphones powered by the Android operating system captured 85 percent of the worldwide market in the second quarter, threatening to marginalize rival platforms, a new survey shows.

User comments : 0