The robotic geniuses at Boston Dynamics have done it again. The DARPA-backed brains behind the AlphaDog robot, and the world’s fastest four-legged robot (appropriately named “Cheetah”), have created another animal-themed contraption, known as the Sand Flea, which is capable of jumping amazingly high into the air — about 30 feet, or as high as a three-story building. Built extra-tough, the Sand Flea can also leap off of buildings without damage, making it particularly useful to the US military.
According to a description of the device on Boston Dynamics’ YouTube channel, the 11-pound robot uses an onboard stabilization system to keep itself oriented during its giant leaps into the air. The Sand Flea can reportedly make about 25 jumps before it needs to be recharged.
The jumping ability of the Sand Flea makes it a valuable tool for the US military, which plans to deploy nine Sand Fleas to Afghanistan, where they will undergo testing. If they make it through robot boot camp, the Sand Fleas, as well as another, cockroach-like robot, will aid soldiers by running reconnaissance mission, and performing other jobs.
At present, the military uses more than 2,000 robots in Afghanistan that perform a wide range of jobs, like bomb disposal, and security support at checkpoints.
Watch a video of the Sand Flea below: