• Follow us

Science

With a hop, a skip and a jump, high-flying robot leaps through obstacles with ease: Salto the jumping robot navigates an agility course and takes a jaunt down the sidewalk

Topping out at less than a foot, Salto the robot looks like a Star Wars imperial walker in miniature. But don't be fooled by its size -- this little robot has a mighty spring in its step. Salto can vault over three times its height in a single bound.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, first unveiled Salto's high-flying capabilities in 2016. Now, they've equipped the robot with a slew of new skills, giving it the ability to bounce in place like a pogo stick and jump through obstacle courses like an agility dog. Salto can even take short jaunts around campus, powered by a radio controller.

The researchers hope Salto will propel the development of small, nimble robots that could leap through rubble to aid in search-and-rescue missions. They will describe the robot's new skills today (Tuesday, May 21) at the 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Montreal.

"Small robots are really great for a lot of things, like running around in places where larger robots or humans can't fit. For example, in a disaster scenario, where people might be trapped under rubble, robots might be really useful at finding the people in a way that is not dangerous to rescuers and might even be faster than rescuers could have done unaided," said UC Berkeley robotics graduate student Justin Yim. "We wanted Salto to not only be small, but also able to jump really high and really quickly so that it could navigate these difficult places."

Yim works with Ronald Fearing, an electrical engineering and computer sciences professor at UC Berkeley, whose Biomimetic Millisystems Lab explores how the mechanics of animal movement can be applied to create more agile robots.

Fearing's lab is known for building insect-inspired robots that can safely crawl across tricky surfaces that are too smooth or too rough for a wheeled robot to navigate. In designing Salto, which stands for "saltatorial locomotion on terrain obstacles," Fearing instead wanted to create a robot that moved from place to place by hopping.

Salto's single, powerful leg is modeled after those of the galago, or Senegalese bush baby. The small, tree-dwelling primate's muscles and tendons store energy in a way that gives the spry creature the ability to string together multiple jumps in a matter of seconds. By linking a series of quick jumps, Salto also can navigate complex terrain -- like a pile of debris -- that might be impossible to cross without jumping or flying.

"Unlike a grasshopper or cricket that winds up and gives one jump, we're looking at a mechanism where it can jump, jump, jump, jump," Fearing said. "This allows our robot to jump from location to location, which then gives it the ability to temporarily land on surfaces that we might not be able to perch on."

Three years ago, Salto's design team demonstrated how the robot could take a leap and then immediately spring higher by ricocheting off a wall, making it the world's most vertically agile robot. Since then, Yim has been leading the effort to design sophisticated control systems that let Salto master increasingly complex tasks, like bouncing in place, navigating an obstacle course or following a moving target.

Yim has also equipped Salto with new technology that allows it to "feel" its own body, telling it what angle it is pointing and the bend of its leg. Without these abilities, Salto has been confined to a room in one of Berkeley's engineering buildings, where motion capture cameras track its exact angle and position and transmit that data back to a computer, which rapidly crunches the numbers to tell Salto how to angle itself for its next leap.

Now that Salto has a sense of itself and its own motion, the robot can make these calculations for itself, allowing Yim to take the robot outside and use a joystick and radio controller to tell it where to go.

"Motion capture is great for getting the robot to jump around in a controlled environment really precisely, and it gives us tons of really great data. The problem is, we can't take this out and use it anywhere else, because it takes a long time to set up all of these cameras," Yim said. "We really wanted to be able to take the robot out and go jump around. And to do that, we needed the robot to be able to compute where it is and what it is doing -- just with the computer on top of its own body."

Salto can now go out for walks on the Berkeley campus, where it has successfully maneuvered over sidewalks, brickwork and grass. The mathematical models that make this possible for Salto also could be generalized to control the motion of other kinds of robots, Yim said.

"By understanding the way that these dynamics work for Salto, with its mass and size, then we can extend the same type of understanding to other systems, and we could build other robots that are bigger or smaller or differently shaped or weighted," Yim said.

In the future, Fearing hopes to continue to explore the possibilities for hopping robots.

"Salto is our first step toward robots that bounce around," Fearing said. "We could extend Salto to add an? the? ability to, for example, grab onto branches to land and launch from those things. So, Salto starts out with a very simple mechanism. It's just one leg. It provides a basis for more complicated robots that also could be very highly dynamic and doing a lot of bouncing."

This research was supported by the Army Research Office Grant No. W911NF-18-1-0038. UC Berkeley undergraduate Eric Wang is also an author on the conference paper.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

Breaking Science News |

Cassini Team Delivers New Findings on Saturn’s Ring New! 2019-06-17 11:26:48Although NASA’s Cassini mission ended in 2017, science continues to flow from the data collected. In a series of papers in the journal Science,

Hubble Space Telescope Sees IC 10 New! 2019-06-17 07:34:23The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a striking new photo of the irregular galaxy IC 10. IC 10 is a member of the Local Group, a collectio

Almond Genome Sequenced 2019-06-17 04:45:21The domesticated almond tree (Prunus amygdalus) has been feeding humans for millennia. Derivation from the wild, bitter, and toxic almond required los

Study: Bottlenose Dolphins Form Friendships through Shared Interests 2019-06-14 15:16:47According to new research, published in the published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) l

Is Consciousness a Fundamental Quality of the Universe? 2019-06-14 13:45:34Scientists have long been trying to understand human consciousness — the subjective ‘stuff’ of thoughts and sensations inside our mi

Giant Cambrian Trilobite Species Unearthed in Australia 2019-06-14 11:11:40Paleontologists have unearthed fossils of a giant trilobite species that inhabited Australian waters approximately 500 million years ago (Cambrian per

Dwarf Starburst Galaxy Harbors Supermassive Black Hole 2019-06-14 08:48:40A starburst galaxy called ESO 495-21 is just 3,000 light-years across, but it harbors a black hole of about one million solar masses at its core.

Vitamin K Involved in Disablement Process in Older 2019-06-14 06:59:41Reduced levels of circulating vitamin K are linked to an increased risk of mobility limitation and disability in older adults, according to a study pu

30,000-Year-Old Head of Pleistocene Wolf Found in Siberian 2019-06-13 15:09:03A perfectly preserved head of a large wolf has been unearthed from the melting permafrost in eastern Siberia. The head of an adult wolf was found near

Dark Monopoles: Theoretical Physicists Propose New Candidate for 2019-06-13 10:36:39Professor John Terning and Dr. Christopher Verhaaren from the University of California, Davis, have a new candidate for dark matter — a dark mon

Hubble Spots Sodium Chloride on Jupiter’s Moon Europa 2019-06-13 08:21:05Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have discovered that the yellow color visible on portions of the surface of Europa, the second G

Scientists Sequence Spider Glue Genes 2019-06-13 07:07:24Researchers have published the first-ever complete sequences of two genes that allow spiders to produce glue, a modified version of silk that keeps a

All DiscoverMagazine.com

Vaporizing Meteors are Making Clouds on Mars New! 2019-06-17 11:00:32These clouds snapped by the Curiosity rover on Mars are much lower and thicker than the meteor-generated clouds the study looked at. (Credit: NASA/JPL

What's So Special About Our Moon, Anyway? New! 2019-06-17 10:41:05Moonrise over the Wasatch Mountains. NASA. This summer is really the summer of the Moon. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landi

Could the Big Bang be Wrong? 2019-06-15 16:02:24A short history of the universe since the time of the Big Bang. We can directly observe more than 13 billion years of change, but the beginning itself

How Apollo Astronauts Didn’t Get Lost Going to 2019-06-15 10:01:56A mockup of the Apollo Guidance Computer that navigated Apollo's way to the Moon. MIT Library. Driving, say, to a friend’s house, we usually

Light Pollution From Satellites Will Get Worse. But 2019-06-14 17:30:21An artist's depiction of space junk. (Credit: ESA) SpaceX’s ambitious Starlink project could eventually launch more than 10,000 satellit

Human Skull Trophies Help Uncover the Maya's Mysterious 2019-06-14 17:29:21Temple 1 at the ancient Maya city of Tikal in Guatemala. (Credit: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock) Two trophy skulls, recently discovered by archaeologis

Stepping Up the Search for Intermediate-Mass Black Holes 2019-06-14 14:00:33Astronomers think the galaxy NGC1313 may be home to an intermediate-mass black hole. Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA) (Inside Science) -- If you ha

Did Dark Matter Punch a Hole in the 2019-06-14 12:00:22An artist's rendition shows the dark matter halo (blue) that astronomers believe surrounds the Milky Way. (Credit: ESO/L. Calçada) A massiv

As the Hunt Drags Out, Physicists Start Searching 2019-06-14 09:00:07The Large Underground Xenon experiment in South Dakota is one of many projects searching for dark matter and coming up empty. (Credit: LUX Collaborati

As Pollinator Populations Drop, Hoverflies May Offer Britain 2019-06-13 17:45:57A hoverfly on a cluster of yellow mustard flowers. (Credit: Dave Hansche/Shutterstock) Billions of hoverflies from Europe descend on southern Brita

The Milky Way Has Battle Scars from Colliding 2019-06-13 17:30:05Our Milky Way, shown here in an artist's concept, has strange "ripples" in its outlying regions. New research indicates those ripples were caused b

Two Hours in Nature Each Week Could Be 2019-06-13 17:12:52(Credit: photo-nic.co.uk nic/Unsplash) By now, you probably know that spending time in nature — hiking through a forest, walking through a pa

NYT > Science

Grow Faster, Grow Stronger: Speed-Breeding Crops to Feed New! 2019-06-17 12:52:53Plant breeders are fast-tracking genetic improvements in food crops to keep pace with global warming and a growing human population.

So Long, Exoplanet HD 17156b. Hello ... Sauron? New! 2019-06-17 12:01:53Astronomers have announced a global contest to rename dozens of extrasolar planets. The nominees are pouring in.

Drug Prices Are a Populist Campaign Issue. Here New! 2019-06-17 10:36:25After years of public outrage, some bipartisan solutions are emerging. But whether they will make it through a divided Washington is still unclear.

In the Bronze Age, Bagels Were Tiny 2019-06-17 05:13:40Archaeologists have identified remnants of small, round dough rings at an excavation site in Austria. But no cream cheese.

That Sleep Tracker Could Make Your Insomnia Worse 2019-06-16 23:04:39Apps and trackers can flood users with confusing data, doctors say. Some warn against orthosomnia, an obsession with “perfect” sleep.

This Town Comes Alive Once a Year, as 2019-06-16 18:03:37More than 70,000 snakes slither out of dens to breed each spring at a Manitoba wildlife area, and thousands of people just can’t keep away from

Breast Milk Is Teeming With Bacteria — That’s 2019-06-16 10:20:57Breast-fed milk may nourish a baby’s microbiome in ways that bottled breast milk can’t.

Bats, Not Dogs, Are the Most Common Source 2019-06-16 10:20:56In the United States, if you get bitten by a bat, get rabies shots.

For the Third Time, W.H.O. Declines to Declare 2019-06-15 00:01:31Even with more than 1,400 dead, the W.H.O. says the risk of the disease spreading beyond the region remains low and declaring an emergency could have

Bastion of Anti-Vaccine Fervor: Progressive Waldorf Schools 2019-06-14 23:51:39Opposition to vaccines on the left is increasingly worrying the authorities. At one progressive school, 60 percent of the 300 students were not vaccin

Drug Makers Sue to Block Requirement for Listing 2019-06-14 23:37:42The rule, set to take effect July 9, is one of the most visible efforts by the Trump administration to try to address high drug prices.

Eager to Limit Exemptions to Vaccination, States Face 2019-06-14 14:08:09Legislators trying to curb the numbers of unvaccinated children have been met with vigorous opposition from upset parents.

Science | Popular Science

The moon's south pole is hiding something massive New! 2019-06-17 12:00:00It’s been 50 years since Apollo 11, but our knowledge of the moon is still remarkably scant. We’ve only just scratched the surface of what

How to find what software your phone is 2019-06-16 13:30:00Wondering whether you're running the latest version of Android or iOS? Here's how to find out, and why you should.

TaylorMade's new drivers start out too fast for 2019-06-16 12:07:56TaylorMade's new club aims to make the golf ball move as fast as possible.

14 Uber and Lyft tips to make your 2019-06-15 14:15:00Find out how to split fares, save money, get picked up faster, and more with our collection of tips for Uber and Lyft.

More electric cars means more mining, but recycling 2019-06-14 22:00:00To get to a future  where we don’t need to dig oil out of the ground— companies will need to dig a whole lot of metal out of the gro

Listen to the soothing sounds of an explosive 2019-06-14 19:05:28Whether you think videos of people whispering into high-quality microphones are creepy or soothing, you’ve probably never seen ASMR content as e

Last week in tech: Google’s Pixel 4 Smartphone, 2019-06-14 17:59:05Be sure to listen to the Techathlon podcast while you're at it.

The best gear for event photographers 2019-06-14 16:15:11It’s officially outdoor event season. Here are nine things that we’ll be bringing along to our shoots.

These gut enzymes could save lives by converting 2019-06-14 16:07:00Type O blood, known as the universal donor, can be safely given to anyone in need. That’s unlike types A, B, and AB, which can only be infused i

How to make your outdoor gear last longer 2019-06-14 13:35:20When it comes to quality outdoor gear, every piece is an investment. It’s not always necessary to trash it and drop a bunch of cash on a new mod

Plastic bags are still bad for the environment, 2019-06-14 12:00:00An environmentally-conscious shopper might feel overwhelmed when they try to weigh the pros and cons of alternatives like polypropylene, polyester, an

Cutting back on beef can lengthen your lifespan, 2019-06-13 19:39:42By now you know you're not supposed to eat much red meat. But it's hard to turn down a steak without knowing just how much good that will do.

Latest Headlines | Science

Norovirus close-ups might help fight stomach flu New! 2019-06-17 10:00:10Detailed views of a common stomach virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea could aid vaccine and disinfectant development.

Diamond detectors could aid the search for dark New! 2019-06-17 08:00:15Elusive dark matter particles could be spotted when they slam into electrons or atomic nuclei within diamond, scientists say.

Is a long-dormant Russian volcano waking up? It’s New! 2019-06-17 06:00:17Scientists debate how to interpret seismic activity near Bolshaya Udina on the remote Kamchatka Peninsula.

Table salt may be hiding in Europa’s underground 2019-06-14 11:02:04Observations of Europa by the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that the moon’s ice-covered ocean may hold sodium chloride, or common table salt.

Many of the world’s rivers are flush with 2019-06-14 09:00:40Antibiotic pollution can fuel drug resistance in microbes. A global survey of rivers finds unsafe levels of antibiotics in 16 percent of sites.

Massive superflares have been seen erupting from stars 2019-06-14 07:00:19Older stars, like the sun, can still send out massive bursts of energy that can be seen from light-years away.

When fighting lice, focus on kids’ heads, not 2019-06-13 08:00:22Learning a little about lice makes for a more efficient battle against the bugs.

Some Canadian lakes still store DDT in their 2019-06-13 06:01:52Yesterday’s DDT pollution crisis is still today’s problem in some of Canada’s lakes.

The National Weather Service has launched its new 2019-06-12 15:11:18The United States has finally unveiled its new, highly touted weather prediction model, but some scientists worry that it’s not ready for prime

People may have smoked marijuana in rituals 2,500 2019-06-12 14:01:48Cannabis may have been altering minds at an ancient high-altitude cemetery, researchers say

Bats beat out dogs as the main cause 2019-06-12 13:14:37In the United States, bats are mostly to blame for rabies deaths, while rabies transmitted by overseas dogs comes in second.

Astronomers may have spotted the ghost galaxy that 2019-06-12 12:00:04Astronomers think they’ve identified a galaxy that hit the Milky Way and ruffled its edges millions of years ago.

Latest Science News --

Cold weather increases the risk of fatal opioid New! 2019-06-17 11:05:48While the precise reasons are unclear, an analysis of overdose deaths in Rhode Island and Connecticut showed that cold snaps raised the risk of fatal

A new 2D magnet draws future devices closer New! 2019-06-17 11:05:46Scientists have discovered a new type of 2D magnetic material that can be integrated into spintronic devices.

Topical cream shows promise in treatment of skin New! 2019-06-17 11:05:44A US nationwide phase II clinical trial has found that a topical cream was extremely effective in reversing the effects of vitiligo, a relatively comm

Managing the risk of aggressive dog behavior New! 2019-06-17 11:05:42Aggressive behavior in pet dogs is a serious problem for dog owners across the world, with bite injuries representing a serious risk to both people an

Social media use contributing to poor mental health New! 2019-06-17 10:41:40Social media use is contributing to poor mental health in Indonesia, new research suggests.

Gold for iron nanocubes New! 2019-06-17 10:41:31Hybrid Au/Fe nanoparticles can grow in an unprecedentedly complex structure with a single-step fabrication method.

Introduced a new paradigm of cell transplantation with New! 2019-06-17 10:41:28Scientists developed a microrobot that can precisely transplant stem cells in various in vivo and vitro environments. Expects to improve the efficienc

Scientists use machine learning to improve gut disease New! 2019-06-17 10:41:25A study says machine learning algorithms applied to biopsy images can shorten the time for diagnosing and treating a gut disease that often causes per

Cell biology: Preventing drugs from being transported out New! 2019-06-17 10:41:23A research team has investigated the transport mechanism of a bacterial membrane protein using an artificially produced antibody fragment. The transpo

Rinsing system in stomach protects the teeth of New! 2019-06-17 10:41:20When they graze, goats, sheep and cows often ingest bits of earth that can be damaging to their teeth. Researchers have now shown how the animals prot

Tuning into the LCDs of tomorrow: Exploring the New! 2019-06-17 10:41:17Indium-gallium-zinc oxide ceramics are used as the backplane for flat-panel displays. A team of researchers reports the synthesis of centimeter-scale

Schizophrenia: Adolescence is the game-changer New! 2019-06-17 10:09:53Schizophrenia may be related to the deletion syndrome. However, not everyone who has the syndrome necessarily develops psychotic symptoms. What trigge

Science - The Huffington

New York City Bills Would Set The Stage 2019-06-09 16:00:08Queens produces much of the city's dirty electricity and houses most of its prisoners. A new package of bills aims to "right wrongs."

Green New Deal Picks Up 2 Major Union 2019-06-07 19:11:29A new poll shows more than half of American union members support the Green New Deal, as SEIU becomes the first national union to endorse the plan.

Whoopi Goldberg Schools Meghan McCain: 'There Is No 2019-06-07 17:03:08"The View" co-host told her fellow panelist, “You cannot do abortions after a certain amount of time unless there is some sort of danger.&rdqu

NASA To Allow Private Citizens To Tour International 2019-06-07 14:05:07But only the superrich can afford it.

House Panel Investigates Whether U.S. Funds Anti-Poaching Efforts 2019-06-06 23:08:30The probe follows a BuzzFeed News investigation into anti-poaching groups funded by conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature.

May Was The United States' Second Wettest Month 2019-06-06 19:20:23It also marked the end of the wettest 12-month period in NOAA's 125 years of record-keeping.

Here's How Much Plastic You Eat Each Year 2019-06-06 13:16:13New research estimates the amount of plastic particles entering your body from beer, honey, bottled water and more.

Ladybug Swarm Is So Massive It Appears On 2019-06-06 02:31:39Meteorologist Joe Dandrea says the swarm appeared to be about 80 miles wide as it flew over San Diego Tuesday.

Jay Inslee Says DNC Has Officially Refused His 2019-06-05 19:02:54The Washington governor and at least five of his fellow Democratic presidential candidates have been petitioning the party for months.

Jupiter Is About To Come So Close You 2019-06-05 05:33:48You won't need a telescope to get some incredible views of our solar system's largest planet.

The Toxic Water Crisis That 2020 Democrats Are 2019-06-04 18:37:48So-called "forever chemicals" are tainting roughly 19 million Americans' drinking water in 43 states. How are so few presidential candidates talkin

Global Carbon Dioxide Measurements Spike To Record High 2019-06-04 17:31:41The concentration of 414.7 parts per million may be the highest in human history.


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.