You know how the saying goes: "You've seen one grasshopper robot, you've seen 'em all." Well, actually, the one pictured above, called the Jollbot, is something kind of off the beaten path, even for grasshopper bots. The creation of PhD student Rhodri Armour at the University of Bath (yeah, the resort town with the natural hot springs), this robot is pretty multi-talented. Designed to be adept at handling multiple types of terrain, the Jollbot can jump up to a half meter in the air to avoid obstacles, but its spherical "cage" shape also allows it to roll in any direction. The robot uses electrical motors and stores energy in its skeleton. Just before a jump, the Jollbot collapses in on itself, then releases its energy in the jump. Armour theorizes that future versions of the machine could be solar powered. To see the robot in all of its glory, you'll probably want to check out the video after the break.

[Via TFOT]

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Grasshopper-inspired Jollbot rolls, collapses, jumps, won't mutate and attack Chicago