Technology

Tiny Jumping Robot Can Find Enemies, Scale Fences

DiscoblogBy Brett IsraelSep 15, 2009 9:37 PM
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A shoebox sized, GPS-guided robot is under development for the U.S. military. Oh, and the robot has mad ups too: It can leap a 25-foot wall without breaking a sweat. Robotics company Boston Dynamics, the same group that brought you PETMAN and BigDog, built the robot—known as the Precision Urban Hopper—for the purposes of scouting enemy territory. BBC News reports:

Most of the time, the robot...uses its four wheels to get around. But the Precision Urban Hopper can use a piston-actuated "leg" to launch it over obstacles such as walls or fences. The robot could boost the capabilities of troops and special forces engaged in urban warfare, say researchers.

The work was funded by the US military's research branch, and the robot is expected to enlist sometime in late 2010. Here's a video of the little bugger posterizing a helpless fence:

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DISCOVER: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Robots

DISCOVER: When Robots Live Among Us

Image: Sandia National Laboratories

Video: Sandia National Laboratories via YouTube/kusharax

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