The contraption you’re looking at is the world’s highest jumping robot.
Designed by researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, the one-foot-tall device can leap more than 100 feet in the air.
To put that into perspective, that’s the same height as a 10-story building, – and it’s three times the current record for a jumping robot.
Apparently the technology could be used to navigate obstacles on Earth and in space.
“The motivation came from a scientific question,” lead author Elliot W. Hawkes, a mechanical engineer at UC Santa Barbara, said in a statement.
“We wanted to understand what the limits were on engineered jumpers.”
The vast majority of jumping systems are based on biological jumpers – or those in the animal kingdom.
That being said, animals have limits to their jumping ability based on how much energy they can produce in a stroke of their muscle.
What’s more, animals have relatively small springs, just enough to store the energy produced by this stroke.
According to Hawkes, the best animal jumper is like the galago – a squirrel-sized primate – which has been recorded jumping around 2.3 meters (10.5 feet) high from a standstill.
Researchers took a different approach with the world’s highest jumping robot, using a motor to take multiple strokes and increase the amount of energy stored in the spring.
The small motor is used to wind up a line that constricts the spring, which is made of carbon-fiber compression bows and rubber bands.
In order for the device to launch into the air, a release mechanism is unlatched.
The device is both lightweight and aerodynamic, which is why it’s able to jump the height of a 10-story building and accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in nine meters per second (30 feet per second).
Not only could this kind of device be used to navigate difficult terrains on Earth, researchers claim it could reach even greater heights on the Moon, where gravity is weaker.
That’s something we found out when we saw rare footage showing how hard astronauts find it walking on the Moon.
Little wonder it’s such a rigorous process trying to become an astronaut.