A student team at Michigan State University has developed a pretty talented miniature robot inspired by the travel abilities of small animals in nature.
Looking to mimic the varied locomotion methods of insects and other small critters in the wild, the team sought out to create a robot with the ability to "run on flat ground, jump to overcome large obstacles, and control its mid-air orientation once leaping into the air,” said team member Jianguo Zhao in a post on the project.
Their completed 1-ounce, 3-inch-tall bot, named the MSU TailBot, achieved all these goals.
Though the robot's completion of its feats can be a little inelegant at times, the robot can jump as high as ten times the size of its body.
The tail of the 'bot controls the angle of its landings, allowing it to land on the ground with the safest landing posture possible. The tail also allows it to stand up in preparation for upcoming jumps, making for one fearless little 'bot.
Watch TailBot in action below: