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A Miniature Tail Assisted Running and Jumping Robot

In nature, small animals or insects use multiple locomotion methods to efficiently travel in difficult environments. Inspired by the multi-modal locomotion ability found in animals, we design a miniature robot that can jump, run, and perform aerial maneuvering. Specifically, this robot can use wheeled locomotion to run on flat ground. Encountering a large obstacle, it can jump up to overcome the obstacle. After leaping into the air, the robot can control its body angle using its tail for aerial maneuvering. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first miniature (maximum size 7.5 centimeters) and lightweight (26.5 grams) robot that having all the three capabilities. Furthermore, this robot is equipped with on-board energy, sensing, control, and wireless communication capabilities, which enables the tetherless or autonomous operation. It has many applications ranging from search and rescue, military surveillance, and environmental monitoring.


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