Skip to Content

This Super-Springy Robot Can Do Parkour

Salto may be the most agile automaton ever built.
December 6, 2016

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have built a robot with huge ups.

Salto can launch itself a meter in the air despite weighing less than a quarter pound and standing only a few inches high. It achieves this by getting into what one of its inventors, Duncan Haldane, calls a "super-crouch." This allows it to spend a long time in contact with the ground when jumping.

But its true standout skill is how fast it can reload and jump again. Haldane built Salto to mimic the leaping ability of a galago, a small, springy primate that lives in Africa. Galagos can jump a bit higher than Salto—1.7 meters versus one meter—but like galagos, Salto can get ready for its next jump in a fraction of a second, allowing it to chain together jumps that get it higher and farther than it could in a single bound.

Basically, it does parkour.

(Read more: IEEE Spectrum, "This Robot Crosses Rough Ground Like a Human Does," "The Latest Boston Dynamics Creation Escapes the Lab, Roams the Snowy Woods")

 

 

Keep Reading

Most Popular

AGI is just chatter for now concept
AGI is just chatter for now concept

The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it

Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.

Hoan Ton-That, CEO of Clearview AI
Hoan Ton-That, CEO of Clearview AI

The walls are closing in on Clearview AI

The controversial face recognition company was just fined $10 million for scraping UK faces from the web. That might not be the end of it.

Europe's AI Act concept
Europe's AI Act concept

A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of

The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.