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Now, jumping robot to facilitate search and rescue

Scientists have designed a soft jumping robot that can leap as much as a foot in the air, a technique that will help it avoid obstacles during search and rescue operations. “Initially, our soft robot systems used pneumatic pressure to actuate,” said Robert Shepherd, first author of the study, and former post-doctoral researcher in the Whitesides Research Group at Harvard.

“While that system worked, it was rather slow — it took on the order of a second. Using combustion, however, allows us to actuate the robots very fast. We were able to measure the speed of the robot’s jump at 4 meters per second,” Shepherd said.

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