Jumping Robot


SandFlea“Soldier, I want you to take this video camera, jump onto the roof that building, take images of the enemy, and come back.  Oh, and they’ll be shooting at you.”

“Or you can use the SandFlea.”

The SandFlea looks like the RC car most kids would love to play with because, in addition to cruising around the yard, it can jump 30 feet into the air, high enough to clear a wall, on to a roof of a house, up the stairs, or though a second story window.  An onboard stabilization system keeps it oriented during flight to improve the view from the video uplink and to control landings.

Sand Flea is funded by the US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force and scheduled to undergo safety and reliability checks at the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC).  If it passes evaluation, several will be field tested in Afghanistan, where US military currently uses more than 2,000 robots.

Specifications:

Weight
11 lbs. (5 kg)
Speed
3.4 mph (5.5 km/h)
Jump Height
3-30 ft. (1-8 m)
Camera resolution
1280 x 960
Battery life
2 Hours
Kinetic energy
25 Jumps
Operating Environment
Tolerant of humidity, salt, oil, and sand
Intended use
Ruggedized reconnaissance robot
Unique Features
It is equipped with
 
Onboard gyro stabilization system to assist in-flight
(a) orientation,
(b) video quality, and
(c) controlled landings,
 
Laser guided the launching,
 
Launching piston used for the jump fires out the back of the robot and is powered by CO2,
 
Wheels designed to cushion the shock of landing.

For more information visit http://www.bostondynamics.com/robot_sandflea.html.

See Death Has No Shadow for fictional acrobatic-mechs in action.

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