The last time we met Salto, the jumping robot he was shaking like a crazy grasshopper. Researchers have now added targeting systems to the small creature, allowing it to maintain a steady jump while controlling exactly when and where Salto lands.
Called "dead foot positioning jump control", the Salto can now monitor a surface for a target and essentially fly to the place where it must land with the help of built-in propellers .
Researchers Duncan Haldane, Justin Yim and Ronald Fearing created the Salto as part of the Army Research Office . They will be exhibiting this little guy at the IEEE / RSJ 2018 International Conference on Robots and Intelligent Systems.
The team upgraded the Salto controller to make it much more accurate for landing, an almost impossible feat with the old controller system, SLIP. "The robot behaves more or less like an inverted pendulum spring, a simplified dynamic model that appears quite often in biology and robotics to have its own acronym: SLIP," wrote Evan Ackerman at the IEEE . "In the 1980s, Marc Raibert developed a controller for SLIP-based robots, and users are still using it today, including Salto-1P until recently."