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X-RHex Lite robot leaps across gaps in a single bound (video)

Nicole Lee, @nicole

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Move aside, Sand Flea, you're not the only jumping robot in town. The researchers over at the University of Pennsylvania have taught their little six-legged X-RHex Light to make leaps and bounds as well, making it one of a few bots to both run and jump effectively. While it can't spring as high as the Boston Dynamics critter, the X-RHex can cross gaps with not just a bound but a running gait, given enough room. It can also flip itself over, climb onto a ledge with a double hop and perform a leaping grab to something as high as 73 centimeters (28.74 inches). The X-RHex itself isn't new; the curved-legged contraption has been around for at least a couple years, and even sported a cat-like tail for balance at one point. Still, the fact that the hefty 6.7 kilogram (14.8 pound) machine can now somersault through the air is a quite a victory, and one that reminds us of the impending robocalypse. Check the video below to see the bouncy guy in action.

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