Science

Meet Salto: Most Vertically Agile Robot Ever

By Rodney Rafols , Dec 07, 2016 05:11 AM EST
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Robotics is getting to be more advanced. Now there are robots that act more naturally. Meet Salto, the most vertically agile robot ever made so far. (Photo : UC Berkeley/YouTube)

Robots would one day be used more often. In many science fiction films, this has been already seen as a reality. Slowly robots are being used in a number of industries. An agile robot has been developed recently. Meet Salto, the most vertically agile robot ever made so far.

Salto is small and is made by roboticists at the University of California Berkeley. It is a very agile robot that can do vertical jumps, and it can do them in a row. The robot is one of the first to show such agility.

To build Salto, the engineers at University of California Berkeley studied the galago, a very agile creature that can jump vertically. The galago can jump up to 8.5 meters by doing a series of jumps in order to attain that height. By studying this creature the engineers were able to make Salto jump in a powerful way.

Salto is not the highest jumping robot, according to Science News. However, it can achieve its high jumps by combining speed and an explosive movement. For comparison, a bullfrog can jump 1.71 meters per second. Salto can jump at 1.75 meters per second.

The galago has what is called power modulation. That means its ability to move is through energy stored within its tendons. This gives it an explosive jump that could not be achieved by its muscles alone. This is the same principle that is used with Salto in order to make high vertical jumps.

To achieve power modulation, Salto has a motor that drives a spring. This is attached to a leg mechanism that would make Salto crouch in the same way that the galago does before jumping, as Science Daily reports. Ronald Fearing, a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences said that Salto is a combination of biologically inspired principles and improved engineering technology. Robots might one day be able to achieve the agility of animals, he added.

As improvements in Robotics are being made, there would be other robots who would be like Salto. For now, people will have to meet Salto, which is the most vertically agile robot ever so far. Robots have long been used in space exploration, such as the Spirits rover used on Mars.

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