Bio-inspired Miniature Jumping Robots

The goal of this project is to design miniature robots to mimic the jumping ability widely found in small animals such as fleas, grasshoppers, and frogs. With jumping, the robot can overcome large obstacles compared to its small size. We have built three generations of jumping robot. The latest generation is shown on the right.

The robot can repeatedly perform the following motion sequence: First of all, it can rotate on the ground to a desired jumping direction. After that, it can charge energy to springs and self-right from the landing posture simultaneously. Then the robot jumps into the air by instantly releasing the energy stored in the spring. Finally, the robot lands on the ground, and the next motion cycle starts.

The robot has a maximum size 6.5 centimeter and a mass 22.3 gram. With a take-off angle 75º, the average jumping height is 0.9 meter. The following two videos show the robot in action.


Related Publications

  • J. Zhao,J. Xu, B. Gao, N. Xi, F. Cintron, M. Mutka, and L. Xiao, MSU Jumper: A Single-Motor-Actuated Miniature Steerable Jumping Robot , IEEE trans. on Robotics. Accepted. Preprint
  • J. Zhao, N. Xi, B. Gao, M. Mutka, and L. Xiao, Development of a Controllable and Continuous Jumping Robot, 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May 9-13, 2011, Shanghai, China, pp. 4614-4619. PDF
  • J. Zhao, N. Xi, B. Gao, M. Mutka, and L. Xiao, Design and Testing of a Controllable Miniature Jumping Robot, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 18-22, 2010, Taipei, Taiwan, pp. 3346-3351. PDF
  • J. Zhao, R. Yang, N. Xi, B. Gao, X. Fan, M. Mutka, and L. Xiao, Development of a miniature self-stabilization jumping robot, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), October 11-15, 2009, St. Louis, USA, pp. 2217-2222. PDF

BioRobotics Groups in the World