Scientists managed to design a tiny jumping robot, being inspired by the agility of African primates. Some engineers from UC Berkeley have worked together to develop a small AI device which was categorized as having the highest vertical jumping ever recorded by a robot. Experts have claimed that this new technology can be very useful in search operations and rescue situations during disasters affecting urban regions.
- The new AI device has some special abilities which are not encountered in other robots.
- Engineers have designed it to help in rescue operations.
Specialists from UC Berkeley named the jumping robot Salto. It can jump as high as three meters into the air. This unique and innovative mechanism is inspired by the primate known as Senegal bushbaby or Galago senegalensis. This small primate is known to jump from a tree to another at a rate of 2.2 meters/second.
Senegal bushbabies can jump so high because they crouch very low before jumping into another tree. Their energy is stored in the elastic tendons, suddenly releasing it when they perform the jump. The outcome of this technique is a leap which is 15 times more potent than jumps which are usually fueled by the strength of the muscles.
The new study was recently published in the Science Robotics magazine. The research gives us data about the robot which measures only 10 inches tall, weighing approximately 0.2 pounds. Even if the robot was designed with only one leg, it is powerful enough to jump about 3.2 feet. What is more, the tiny AI device can also climb to approximately 5.7 feet/second.
The new robot is different from what was previously created by experts because Salto can jump continuously compared to other robots which needed some minutes to rest. Duncan Haldane, who is a robotics Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley, argued that the key of the AI device was to produce a metric able to generate measurements of the vertical agility of the robot. This helped engineers establish a list of animals comparing their jumping agility, also choosing one species for inspiration.
The jumping robot was built to provide help in rescue and search operations when needed, during disasters or any emergencies, like earthquakes. The tiny device would be able to search for the remains of an affected building due to its weight and height. Its size will allow it to move quickly between the rubble without disturbing it, being very efficient during search operations.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia