Salto-1P. © Biomimetic Millisystems Lab/UC Berkeley.
Salto-1P is a miniature robot that gets around in leaps and bounds, much like a large grasshopper. But look closely, and you’ll see that the critter has just one leg, making its agility all the more astonishing. Salto-1P can jump 1.25 metres high and still keep its balance thanks to a rotating balancing tail and a pair of miniature thrusters. Duncan Haldane, Salto’s co-developer, of Biomimetic Millisystems Lab at UC Berkeley, said his inspiration was not the grasshopper, but rather the galago, a small African primate. As for the software side of Salto, the 3D One-Leg Hopper, a monopod robot from 1984, graciously let out its algorithms for adaptation. Part of its intelligence is handled by a close-proximity computer that receives “flight information” through a motion-capture system.
⇨ IEEE Spectrum, “Salto-1P is the most amazing jumping robot we've ever seen.”
⇨ Science Robotics, “Robotic vertical jumping agility via series-elastic power modulation.”