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Scientists Invent Leaping Robot for Search and Rescue During Disasters

Dec 09, 2016 09:48 AM EST

Researchers from the University of California Berkeley have developed a tiny robot that could leap almost 11 feet into the air and leave the ground in seconds. The team aims to use this tiny leaping robot to save soldiers during wartime and victims during disasters.

According to Science News, this robot, known as Salto, is not only speedy but also lightweight. It stands on only one thin leg and can leap from the floor to the wall in mere 0.58 seconds. When this kind of robot is developed into its larger and more capable version, it could one day help in search and rescue operations of not only soldiers but also calamity victims anywhere in the world.

According to a report from Business Insider, the tiny robot parts have been developed using 3-D printed plastic and carbon fiber materials. These are not only lightweight but they are also very durable and can withstand force enough to filter through rubble during a calamity or disaster. Its developers are now aiming to equip it with a camera and a GPS so that it could be easily maneuvered in places where humans will have difficulty navigating alone.

This robot, as well as other robots, has been similarly designed to locusts, a certain species of grasshopper which could fly through the air and leave the ground at an incredible speed. The Salto has been designed with legs that could behave similarly to this particular insect.

However, a report from Mashable explained that this particular robot was also based on a leaping primate known as a galago. An animal that stores energy in its tendons while crouching, it could use the energy to jump at heights and speeds surprising for small species. With this concept, the robot could do not just one big leap but also a parkour kind of jump by bouncing off a wall, making the leap much bigger and higher.  

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