Spy robot can jump 30 feet straight up

April 2, 2012 at 9:34 PM

WALTHAM, Mass., April 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has tested a reconnaissance robot that can jump 30 feet into the air, high enough to vault into a second story window, its maker says.

Developed by Massachusetts firm Boston Dynamics, with U.S. Army funding, the tiny robot -- looking something like a radio-controlled model car minus its body -- can stop, stand up and launch itself with a CO2-powered piston, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

Dubbed the Sand Flea, the robot can jump 25 times on a single charging with CO2, its developers said.

The Sand Flea is an updated version of the Precision Urban Hopper, which was developed by Sandia National Laboratories.

Unlike it predecessor, the Sand Flea has a gyroscopic stabilization system to keep it oriented as it jumps, making for steadier video in mid-flight.

After evaluation by the Army Test and Evaluation Command, the Army could ship nine of the robots to Afghanistan to join about 2,000 others already being used by U.S. forces, CNET reported.

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