Miniature Steerable Jumping Robot


Executive Summary


Machines and robots that are responsible for gathering information in exploratory settings conventionally require wheels or treads to access the site of investigation. These devices are limited to the terrain that the robot can handle. Maneuvering around obstacles may require robots that can jump. In specific applications like search and rescue where terrain is impassible for conventional equipment and unsafe for human travel, a jumping robot would be of great use to a search and rescue team. A robot with these capabilities would also be an asset for the military in dangerous reconnaissance missions.


Description of Technology


This technology is a small jumping robot capable of steering itself to maneuver around obstacles. Although only 6.5 cm tall and weighing 23.5 g, this robot can jump to heights of 90 cm and distances of 80 cm. Four mechanisms are crucial to the success of this robot:

  1. Energy Mechanism – to charge and release energy
  2. Jumping Mechanism – converts available energy into kinetic energy for jumping
  3. Self-righting Mechanism – stands the robot after any landing position
  4. Steering Mechanism – alters jumping direction

The same principles of this small robot could be applied to larger robots or machines to best fit the area of application. Also, sensors could be added to the robot to gather the desired information. Lastly, communication systems could be installed to transfer data to a computer or to aid in the communication between other robots.


Key Benefits

  • High Jumping Ability can be achieved over other size-comparable robots
  • Simplicity – a minimal number of parts are utilized when compared to other jumping robots
  • Maneuverability – improved steering ability
  • Customizable – various sensors, communication methods and payloads can be implemented to best fit the application of use



  • Search and Rescue Operations
  • Military Reconnaissance
  • Remote Sensing


Patent Status: 




Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Ning Xi, Matt Mutka, Jung Xu, Jianguo Zhao, Li Ziao, Bingtuan Gao


Tech ID: TEC2012-0047


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Raymond Devito
Technology Manager
Michigan State University