Researchers at Seoul National University and the University of California, Berkeley say they have developed a new kind of jumping mechanism for robots that has the potential to scale from tiny hops to a catapult launch.
The researchers added this new technology to a hexapedal crawler robot called DASH, resulting in a new running, jumping robot called JumpRoACH. The new robot weighs only 60 grams but can jump 1.6 meters in a single hop.
The jumping mechanism is comprised of a diamond-shaped four-bar linkage with joints like knees. Eight latex bands are used to store energy as they stretch when the linkage is compressed, which occurs using a wire, a pulley, and a DC motor. Gears are placed between the pulley and the motor, serving as a clutch when the rotation of the motor reverses, enabling the robot to adjust its jump height.
The module alone can manage nearly three meters vertically, and when it is attached to the DASH robot it can reach between 1.1 and 1.6 meters. The motor that drives the jumping mechanism also actuates an outer shell, which the robot uses to right itself after landing.
From IEEE Spectrum
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