Meet RHex. He's super cute, and he's also pretty good at parkour! At least, for a tiny, adorable robot. Rhex is a project by Aaron Johnson and Daniel Koditschek, the former a grad student and the latter a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science. RHex is a robot designed to traverse rough terrain, as detailed in their video description:
By activating its legs in different sequences, XRL can execute double jumps, flips, and, through a combination of moves, even pull-ups. For the tallest obstacles, the robot can launch itself vertically, hook its front legs on the edge of the object it's trying to surmount, then drag its body up and over. The researchers fully demonstrated this particular manoeuvre under more controlled conditions in the lab.
Well, yes, I want one. More just to keep me company than to send on building-climbing adventures, but I do want one.
Then again, imagine if this thing were the size of a locomotive. What once was cute would instantly become a horrifying, six-legged robot overlord. He'd rear up, and blot out the sun.
(Via The Atlantic)