VIDEO: Three-legged robot uses exploding body to jump

Pumping air through a rubbery robot allows it to walk, but now you can make one jump by setting off explosions inside its body.

George Whitesides¬†from¬†Harvard University and colleagues have created a three-legged robot lined with tubes filled with a mixture of methane and oxygen. When an electrical spark ignites the gases, the combustion reaction generates bursts of pressure that propel the robot aloft (see video above). “By actuating all three legs simultaneously, we caused the robot to jump more than 30 times its height,” write the team. As the height of the jump was limited by the size of the experimental chamber, they think it could spring twice as high without the attached tubing.

Using explosions allows the robot to move much more rapidly than it could with locomotion driven by compressed air. The experiments show that its silicone body can withstand the forces and temperatures generated by the burning gas.

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via New Scientist
 

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