3D printed robot insect can jump over 3 meters high (11 feet) - Could help future search and rescue missions

12/29/2015 - 01:05

A locust-inspired miniature robot that can jump 3.35 meters (11 ft.), covering a distance of 1.37 meters (4.5 ft.) horizontally in one leap is designed to handle search-and-rescue and reconnaissance missions in rough terrain.

The new locust-inspired robot, dubbed “TAUB” (for “Tel Aviv University and Ort Braude College”), is 12.7 cm (5 in.) long and weighs weighs 23 grams (less than one ounce). It was developed by Tel Aviv University and Ort Braude College researchers.


Ref: A locust-inspired miniature jumping robot. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics (25 November 2015) | DOI: 10.1088/1748-3190/10/6/066012


Unmanned ground vehicles are mostly wheeled, tracked, or legged. These locomotion mechanisms have a limited ability to traverse rough terrain and obstacles that are higher than the robot's center of mass. In order to improve the mobility of small robots it is necessary to expand the variety of their motion gaits. Jumping is one of nature's solutions to the challenge of mobility in difficult terrain. The desert locust is the model for the presented bio-inspired design of a jumping mechanism for a small mobile robot. The basic mechanism is similar to that of the semilunar process in the hind legs of the locust, and is based on the cocking of a torsional spring by wrapping a tendon-like wire around the shaft of a miniature motor. In this study we present the jumping mechanism design, and the manufacturing and performance analysis of two demonstrator prototypes. The most advanced jumping robot demonstrator is power autonomous, weighs $23\;{\rm{gr}},$ and is capable of jumping to a height of $3.35\;{\rm{m}},$ covering a distance of $1.37\;{\rm{m}}$.