Salto

A jumping robot — whose design was inspired by small primates known as bush babies — can spring off walls to gain height faster than any previous robot and could one day help rapidly scan urban disaster zones, researchers say. Despite being just 10 inches (26 centimeters) tall and weighing only 0.2 pounds (100 grams), the one-legged robot, named Salto, can leap up more than 3.2 feet (1 meter) high from a standing position.

Auke Jan Ijspeert, who leads the Biorobotics Laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, said: “Being able to fight against gravity is always a big problem for terrestrial animals and robots,” Ijspeert told Live Science. “Such a system could be useful for applications in field robotics, for example, for search and rescue, pollution monitoring, inspection or agriculture.”