Berkeley's Jumping Robot is Back


Mar 3, 2018
Berkeley researchers unveiled a hopping robot back in 2016. Now that same robot is back, with an improved cyber brain. The new microcontroller makes the robot's jumps 3 times as precise as its predecessor.

Check out a video of the robot here.

As you might expect, the more aggressive Salto-1P's jumping is, the less precise it is. Optimal precision comes after a series of small jumps, while the hyperaggressive long-distance flinging itself about that we've seen in the past is much more difficult to target. With a mid-to-low jump height, Salto-1P can handle both moving targets and surfaces that aren’t flat and level, like the office chair in the video. And it’s likely to get better at what it does, too: We spoke with Justin Yim at IROS, who told us that he’s working toward increasing Salto-1P's jumping precision even more, while also weaning it off of the external localization and computing systems that keep it confined indoors.
That was, without a doubt, the coolest epicene technology demonstration of this year. I can hear Kathleen Kennedy ordering two dozen for Star Wars 9: The Rise of the Frog Droids.

I liked it. I want one. But I was also hoping that when the tech was picking up the target board and moving it, he'd just go rogue and smack it.
When is this technology going to be in a vehicle I can jump around the planet in? Maybe just jumping around town will suffice.