Flea-Inspired Robot Reaches New Heights

At first sight, Sand Flea, the incredible jumping robot created by the Massachusetts-based engineering company Boston Dynamics, looks like a simple remote control car driving around in a parking lot. Its hidden capabilities, however, are sure to amaze you.

Commissioned by U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force, Sand Flea was designed to serve as a military reconnaissance robot. Sand Flea’s built-in surveillance camera can document its surroundings with minimal visual obstruction, as it can easily bound over objects up to 30 feet tall. Additionally, its oversized wheels allow it to travel on virtually any terrain it encounters–including the air:

The inspiration for the robot, the pesky yet vertically impressive sand flea, is capable of jumping from its toes 150 times its own length using stored energy rather than muscle power. The Sand Flea robot imitates its jumping skills by using a carbon dioxide powered piston as its energy source for jumping from its grooved wheels, rather than using joint-like apparati. While the robotic Sand Flea can only jump roughly 30 times its own length, a laughable distance compared to its namesake, its immense projectile leaps have yet to be surpassed by any mechanical device.


Images via
Expensive World

Commentary Ticker

  • Data Knows Best: Greatest TV Shows Get Ranked and Graphed
    March 26, 2014 | 10:50 am

    Every argument is better with charts and graphs. Sometimes a little linear regression can provide more insight than a long-winded report. GraphTV tests that theory by plotting the ratings of popular television shows. It all started with Breaking Bad. Data guru Kevin Wu was watching its fifth and final season and couldn’t help but think [...]

  • A Coin-Inspired National Spirit, Hopefully
    March 20, 2014 | 11:56 am

    The Lakota Nation, a group of seven Native American bands in North and South Dakota, voted to make a Bitcoin-like crypto-currency called MazaCoin their official currency, according to Forbes. Programmer and Lakota activist Payu Harris believes that the coin will help the Lakota people gain sovereignty over their land. “To be a truly independent state [...]

  • Smartguns and the Promise of Progress
    March 3, 2014 | 9:50 am

    With the recent Sandy Hook elementary school shooting (and the 44 school shootings since) still relatively fresh in our collective minds, and with Congress empirically unable to do anything to stop gun violence at all, it seems slowing, if not stopping, the gun violence epidemic has fallen on a strange coalition of gun manufacturers, Silicon [...]

  • Watch: Movies Without Imaginary Friends
    January 28, 2014 | 12:56 pm

    If you seriously haven’t watched Fight Club yet (or read the book by Chuck Palahniuk) stop and go do that right now. You’re fifteen years late to the craziest party. Okay, you’ve watched it now? Onwards. A visual effects specialist in New York accelerated himself to Internet fame in mid-January when he edited Tyler Durden [...]

  • The Racism of “Racism”: The Complicated Origins of the Term
    January 17, 2014 | 12:27 pm

    “Racism,” like race, was invented. The term “racism” has done a lot of heavy lifting for anti-racism advocates, helping to frame anyone discriminating by race as misguided. Just as with classism or sexism, not only does the word racism give name to an evil, it helps to create the thing as evil in the first [...]

  • RSSArchive for Commentary Ticker »

Join our mailing list!

Trending on The Airspace