UPenn's XRL robot (Photo: UPenn)
The XRL uses one individually controlled 50 watt brushless electric motor for each leg (Photo: UPenn)
The UPenn XRL robot takes a running start to leap over a 60 cm (24 in) gap (Photo: UPenn)
UPenn's XRL robot jumping and grabbing the edge of a cliff five times its own height (Photo: UPenn)
View of an earlier version of the XRL robot under the carbon fiber shell (Photo: UPenn)
The full sequence showing UPenn's XRL robot jumping and grabbing the edge of a cliff five times its own height (Photo: UPenn)
Most land-dwelling animals with skeletons (exo or endo) have the ability to jump. It is of particular importance to survival, as running primarily consists of a long series of jumps. Without the ability to jump, a robot's freedom to move around is limited, something that is particularly true of smaller robots for which even relatively narrow trenches or low walls can prove too much of an obstacle. A robotics group at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) has taught a six-legged crawling robot to jump, giving it remarkable acrobatic capabilities.
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