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Tiny 'jumping robots' have more in common with firecrackers than Johnny 5


Perhaps calling an immobile plastic bug with explosives strapped to its underside a "jumping robot" is a bit of a stretch, but who are we to argue with the Army Research Laboratory and the University of Maryland. The two groups have collaborated to create a pair of "robots" that measure just a few millimeters in size but can jump several centimeters in the air. One uses a spring like mechanism (which an operator must press down with a pair of tweezers) to propel it, while the other uses a small rocket, which can be triggered either by current applied over wires or a phototransistor (for untethered flight). It all makes for a pretty neat video, which you can find after the break - even if your sister's Furby was more robot than these tiny things.

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