I, for one, would like to see this robot built as big as a human – purely to witness its leaping abilities — but the three-inch version will do for now.
Cobbled together by students at Michigan State University, the MSU TailBot “can run on flat ground, jump to overcome large obstacles, and control its mid-air orientation once leaping into the air.”
The robot’s “tail” is what allows it to land safely, and “can also make the robot stand up for the next jump or lie down for running,” writes project member Jianguo Zhao. The idea is based on recent work published in Nature concerning how some animals use their tails while in mid-air to control their landings.
MSU TailBot: A Tail Assisted Running and Jumping Robot [Jianguo Zhao via Engadget]