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

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

Stay connected

Illustration 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.