You wouldn't necessarily expect a robotic cube to bounce but leave it up to MIT, and it will.
This cube robot, developed by Shuguang Li, Robert Katzschmann and Daniela Rus of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, could open the door for future applications ranging from exploration gadgets to outdoor surveillance systems.
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The cube jumps thanks to two motorized rotors that control four steel loops. When the rotors turn, they pull the steel loops through the inside of the cube, compressing them against the side walls. Eventually the loops make their way around to a rectangular opening. Like a spring released after being under pressure, the loops pop out of the hole, push away at the ground and force the cube to jump.
The robot is capable of jumping continuously and also switching up its direction, with a little modification. By adding integrated sensors, controllers and rechargeable batteries, the researchers were able to get the cube robot to behave autonomously.
You can watch the robotic cube reach new heights in this video below.