Jumping and rolling to places we can’t get to
This little contraption probably won’t be found at the beach and it’s not about to bite anyone’s toes either. In fact, all it really wants to do is take a look around. The latest version of the Sand Flea, developed by Boston Dynamics, is able to jump up to 10m thanks to the help of a CO2 powered piston. Sand Flea can perform about 25 of these types of jumps before it needs to refuel.
The idea is that the sand flea can be sent over walls and other obstacles, sending information back about what’s going on through means of a video stream. The bot is able to stabilize itself in mid air so it can capture footage even while being airborne. It’s relatively large wheels absorb shock during hard landings so it’s ready to go again once it hits the ground.
The video below features a similar robot recently acquired by a US police department. It’s nothing like Robocop but it will help keep officers safer by allowing them to explore areas that might be too dangerous for people to head into. The robot can also conduct video surveillance in indoor and outdoor environments using both regular and infrared lighting.
Are there other ways that robots could make work in urban environments safer? If you’re interested in a European initiative that envisions robots as companions and assistants, click HERE.