World’s Highest Jumping Robot

World’s Highest Jumping Robot

This tiny robot can jump higher than anything else in the world. This video is sponsored by Brilliant. The first 200 people to sign up via get 20% off a yearly subscription.

Huge thanks to Dr. Elliot Hawkes and the rest of the group – Charles Xiao, Chris Keeley, Dr. Morgan Pope, and Dr. Günter Niemeyer – for having us at UCSB and showing us their high-flying jumper.


Hawkes, E.W., Xiao, C., Peloquin, R., Keeley, C., Begley, M.R., Pope, M.T., & Niemeyer, G. (2022). Engineered jumpers overcome biological limits via work multiplication. Nature, 604, 657-661. –
Fernandez, S. (2022). Hitting New Heights. The Current, UC Santa Barbara. –
Bushwick, S. (2022). Record-Breaking Jumping Robot Can Leap a 10-Story Building. Engineering, Scientific American. –
Mack, E. (2022). This Robot Can Leap Nine Stories in One Jump, Will Go Even Higher on Moon. Science, CNET. –
Ashby, M. (2020). Materials Selection in Mechanical Design (4th edition). Elsevier.
Jumping robot leaps to record heights. Nature Video –
MultiMo-Bat Robot –
Galago Jump –
Slingshot Spider –

Special thanks to Patreon supporters: RayJ Johnson, Brian Busbee, Jerome Barakos M.D., Amadeo Bee, TTST, Balkrishna Heroor, Chris LaClair, John H. Austin, Jr.,, Matthew Gonzalez, Eric Sexton, john kiehl, Nathan Lanza, Diffbot, Gnare, Dave Kircher, Burt Humburg, Blake Byers, Dumky, Evgeny Skvortsov, Meekay, Bill Linder, Paul Peijzel, Josh Hibschman, Mac Malkawi, Michael Schneider, jim buckmaster, Juan Benet, Robert Blum, Sunil Nagaraj, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Stephen Wilcox, Marinus Kuivenhoven, Michael Krugman, Cy ‘kkm’ K’Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal

Written by Emily Zhang and Derek Muller
Filmed by Derek Muller and Trenton Oliver
Animation by Mike Radjabov and Ivy Tello
Edited by Trenton Oliver
Additional video/photos supplied by Pond5 and Getty Images
Music from Epidemic Sound
Produced by Derek Muller, Petr Lebedev, and Emily Zhang

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36 Responses

  1. Portal FPV says:

    I’m not sure why, but such a small and simple thing made this one of my more favorite videos of yours. Especially once you pointed out how invaluable this would be on other planets with little to no atmosphere. I wonder if something like this could also implement a passive propeller that would slow its decent 🤔

    • Daily Funny Videos says:

      Whoever’s reading this, i pray that whatever your going through gets better and whatever your struggling with or worrying about is going to be fine and that everyone have a fantastic day

    • Kai Zhang says:

      how about to replace the added weight with reaction wheels to straight it up during decent, and let the spring system harvest part of the energy during the impact?

    • putin vladimir says:

      rather i think adding inflatable gliders so that it covers maximum distance cant say for other planets maybe but definetly would help on earth

    • Moth Moniker says:

      Wait… this jumper where they got inspiration for those spider things in Ark Survival? xD

    • Moth Moniker says:

      Probably some lessons here which could be learned for those people with the centrifugal throwing machine.

  2. Jon Harris says:

    Have they looked at efficiency loss from jumping on a compressible surface, like loose sand? I would think that would be a limiting factor in an environment like the moon, where there is a large quantity of fine particles on the surface.

    • SumTingFishy says:

      @Mark M they talked about the machine’s legs which allow them to control the direction it launches, so I assume it could angle itself in a way to get out from what it is trapped under

    • manaquri says:

      I think you wouldn’t lose that much, because it’s fast, the sand doesn’t have time to get out of the way.

    • fewbronze games says:

      i think due to the speed that it’s pushing the ground the soil wouldn’t have time to move out of the way even if it was compressible since it all happens in a fraction of a second so the losses would be minimal but not zero

    • ELEVATE says:

      The “sand” in the moon isn’t weathered and rounded and smooth, it’s jagged and interlocks with other Pieces around it, so would probably compact very well and act like a hard surface. A bit like non-Newtonian fluid

  3. Charles Goode says:

    I’d appreciate a graph showing additional weight at the top vs height of jump. Obviously at some point the additional weight will make jumps decrease height but at what inflection point and how quickly does height fall off past that point.

    • T[A]P Me!! To Have [S]EX With Me says:

      Fly back to your mail mail 😶‍🌫️🥶🥶

    • onebronx says:

      @Emco Tec basically, yes, the spring mass is a dead mass and should be as low as possible. Given a specific energy/mass ratio of the spring, the most effective mechanical design would maintain a constant acceleration of the payload. For this, it should exert a constant accelerating force under increasing velocity, which means a linearly increasing power (force times velocity). All movement of spring masses in orthogonal direction should come to zero at the takeoff moment, to prevent the final slap.

      The bow probably is still not the most effective design, because it slows down in vertical direction at the end, and still has a lot of horizontal movement wasting energy. I’d think of a logarithmic spiral legs loaded with a logarithmically increasing torque (so that projected vertical force remains constant). It is not trivial to implement this with springs though. Looking at the the sand flea design, I’d imagine a cascade of rubber bands of increasing strength releasing at certain angles with a snap action mechanism.

    • Emco Tec says:

      @xamanto thanks man that helped a lot, so there will be a sweetspot for every constelation, i think i know what i will simulate for tonight 🤣

    • xamanto says:

      @Emco Tec he didn’t say there’s no upper limit, he said the top mass needs to be JUST enough to move the center of gravity of the entire system close enough to the highest point to be outside of the spring assembly
      Basically, if x describes the center of mass you want this:
      not this:
      because in the latter some of the energy from the spring will go into cancelling itself out.

    • xamanto says:

      ’bout tree fiddy

  4. Omkar Bhatkar says:

    Such a simple mechanism yet it broke the highest jump record.. Scientific discoveries and corresponding engineered devices are truly amazing aspects of human exploration .. like two sides of the same coin..

  5. bear532 says:

    That’s really neat and in some way it reminds me of a small high school project we had to do. My design was great as it was, but it lost a lot of kinetic energy that could have been utilized. When I came up with an extremely simple idea on how to utilize the kinetic energy, the efficiency increased by around a quarter. I see the same thing on this design. The carbon fiber “bows” slap each other at the end. All lost energy. A mechanism in the middle that takes the “hit” from the bows and redirects it towards the bottom would increase the energy efficiency . Whether the extra weight (you would need to add more dead weight on top as well) and complexity of the added mechanism would be worth it, I have no idea. Just something the design team of this awesome little robot could look into.

    • skierpage says:

      I think the bows banging into each other at the end is just the kinetic energy of some very light bits of carbon fiber moving sideways. A mechanism to turn that into a useful downward force at the end of the 9 millisecond takeoff would seem to be very complicated, but interesting.

  6. DWS Outdoors says:

    I love this kind of innovation because it is SO simple yet it has extraordinary results!

  7. John Figueiredo says:

    Though it would not be a jump, this same design including a flywheel in addition to the spin would be DOPE. Could intermittently retention the spool if the trigger mechanism was redesigned, be used for gyroscope steering and potentially increase max flight distance?

    • T[A]P Me!! To Have [S]EX With Me says:

      🤩 you can get your mail mail 😱🥶😰

    • diggoran says:

      @Matthew Morycinski good point, I forgot about ambient temperature

    • Matthew Morycinski says:

      @diggoran On the Moon the rubber would either be frozen solid or melt.

    • diggoran says:

      @Christian Hoermann Flywheels may be a good alternative, but what do you have against rubber bands? Derek mentioned that latex rubber has an unusually high potential for storing energy per kilogram of material, so latex rubber bands seem like a pretty decent material choice for lightweight applications. Maybe not for a full size rover, but probably alright for several lightweight drones. And I’m sure the finished product will not use office-supply rubber bands but a specially manufactured latex rubber designed to fit the drone’s needs.

  8. riuphane says:

    I found this concept fascinating and can’t wait for the toy version to be available

  9. PavarottiAardvark says:

    The old British sci fi shows UFO and Captain Scarlet both feature “Moon Hoppers” as a form of lunar transport. I remember thinking it was absurd at the time, but maybe they weren’t so crazy.

    • PavarottiAardvark says:

      @coffeyvideoproductions They hopped. Big springy legs that leaped, and then landed. Like a frog.

    • coffeyvideoproductions says:

      Did they literally hop, or was it a play on words like the old “puddle jumper” airplanes?

    • F*СК МЕ! ТАР 0N MY Р!С says:

      Dic😚😚 I can do it tomorrow mail mail it tomorrow 🤣🙂😍😌😙

    • Carl says:

      ​@ilmaio You’re conceptually correct, but you’re miles off a practical solution. For example, if you want to travel 1000m up into the air, you need an initial speed of ~150m/s (excluding air resistance). If you’re willing to tolerate 5Gs (and that’s very high), that means that you’ll need to accelerate for ~3s. In those 3s, you’ll cover 225m. A 225m long shuttle is ridiculous, and it takes you just 1000m.

  10. Joseph Joyce says:

    One interesting thing to note is that humans also use latches! Think about how snapping your fingers work

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