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.
Salto is not the highest-jumping robot out there — some bots can jump to heights of more than 10 feet (3 meters), but those bots have to wind up for several minutes before they leap, whereas Salto can jump again almost immediately, the researchers said. This allows the one-legged bot to push off a wall — much like human parkour enthusiasts — to gain height more quickly, they added. [The 6 Strangest Robots Ever Created]
Salto is also able to climb at a rate…