A MSU researcher develops jumping mini-robot

Nowadays, most of the mini-robots get wheels for their quick locomotion. However, this type of locomotion will be a handy device in the flat land only. When it comes to rugged terrain locomotion, mini-robots with jumping capability will be an ideal one.

To make it possible, Jianguo Zhao, a graduate student at Michigan State University developed a steerable, faster, and jumping mini-robot under the supervision of Professor Ning Xi. It was built with the fund provided by the National Science Foundation, and later made under commercial contract.

Zhao’s mini-robot measures a dimension of 6.0 x 8.0 x 2.0 centimeter, and weighs just 20 grams. The mass and size of this tiny device are 23.50 grams and 6.50 centimeters respectively. It is capable of turning faster at 36 deg/sec, and up from 2 deg/sec.

This mini-robot was demonstrated on April 11 at MSU’s Innovation Celebration. It is equipped with a pager motor, which helps it jump up to a height of 90 centimeters. After it lands in the terrain, it quickly comes to the perfect position and gets ready for next jump. As the self – righting system is very strong, it does not break into pieces. It is powered by a small photo cell, and it can hop hundreds of times without any recharge.

This tiny device can be mounted with micro-sensors or wireless camera, and can be used in several operations like military surveillance, environmental monitoring, and search and rescue. The researcher also planned to provide it a water-jumping capability in their next development stage.

You can watch various jumps performed by this mini-robot in the below video:

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