Penn researchers strive for a more athletic robot

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have given a new robot a leg up on its ancestors by outfitting it with jumping and climbing abilities.

The researchers built the robot using lightweight carbon fiber. That lets it leap and climb without using too much power and to keep moving after clearing an obstacle.

Obstacles like gaps and ledges have impeded mobile robots in the past.

Engineering professor Daniel Koditschek says legged robots were conceived to mimic the mobility of animals.

Such machines could eventually be used for tricky propositions like military search missions or supply transport.

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