With the goal of making a robot that can run, jump, and maneuver in the air, a student team at Michigan State University came up with this monkey-like miniature machine: TailBot. It is super goofy. For example: to run, it doesn’t run on its legs so much as knock itself over with its tail and crawl by gyrating its back. To jump, it comically bends its legs and blasts over (relatively very high but still like 2-foot-tall) walls.
But the 1-ounce, 3-inch-tall ‘bot can control its landing by moving its tail while in mid-air, and leap several times its own height. Neat tricks, even if TailBot doesn’t quite stack up to the greatest jump-‘bots out there.