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Grasshoppper "robot" sets new high-jump record

Grasshoppper "robot" sets new high-jump record
Donald Melanson
Donald Melanson|@donmelanson|May 21, 2008 6:11 PM
While it doesn't exactly boast all that many robot-like characteristics, this grasshopper-inspired bot from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is apparently enough of one to lay claim to the robot high-jump record, which it was able to capture handily by jumping 27 times its own height. That was done with the aid of a motor originally designed to power the vibration unit of a pager which, in this case, winds up two metal springs that eventually release and spring the 5-centimeter tall bot into the air. What's more, while it doesn't have any means of directing itself or even landing on its feet just yet, the researchers behind the bot eventually hope to add some solar panels, sensors, and a microprocessor to it, which they say could one day allow swarms of 'em to explore disaster areas, or even hop their way around the surface of other planets. Head on past the break for a video of it doing its thing.

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