SALTO is a new type of robot, in development by Berkeley, that is able to jump about a meter in the air. The cute name is really an acronym for Saltatorial Locomotion on Terrain Obstacles.
Salto – which weighs 100 grams (0.2lbs) and stands 26 centimeters (10in) tall – has proved to be somewhat less impressive than the animal that inspired it, so far managing to propel itself up to 1 meter. Salto can though conduct several jumps in rapid succession – climbing 1.75 meters per second – and knows how to spring off a wall (a trick called a ‘tic-tac’ in parkour), boosting its jumping height to approximately 1.21 meters, Phys.org reports. So Salto can jump, but landing apparently still needs more work – the video shows the bot being caught mid-leap or falling into a safety net, but never landing on hard ground, whether on its foot or otherwise.
We aren’t sure what the practicality of such a robot will be in the end, but we hope they put a teddy bear skin around it and turn it into a cute jumping doll. Maybe even make it look like a bush baby since it was modeled after one.
So cheers to the engineers at Berkeley who are working to fill the world with adorable jumping robots… we hope.
Here’s a little more on SALTO: