Chapter 23 — Biomimetic Robots

A miniature 7g jumping robot

Jumping can be a very efficient mode of locomotion for small robots to overcome large obstacles and travel in rough, natural terrain. We present the development and characterization of a novel 5 cm, 7 g jumping robot. It can jump obstacles more than 27 times its own size and outperforms existing jumping robots by one order of magnitude with respect to jump height per weight and jump height per size. It employs elastic elements in a four bar linkage leg system to enable very powerful jumps and adjustments of the jumping force, take-off angle and force profile during the acceleration phase. This 2 min video includes footage of jumping desert locusts, computer aided design (CAD) animations, close ups of the jumps using high-speed imaging at 1000 frames/s and the robot moving in rough terrain.
Mirko Kovac, Martin Fuchs, Andre Guignard, Jean-Christophe Zufferey, Dario Floreano