This little guy is awesome. Look at him go! From Sandia National Labs:
Boston Dynamics, developer of advanced dynamic robots such as BigDog and PETMAN, has been awarded a contract by Sandia to develop the next generation of the Precision Urban Hopper, meaning Sandia‘s hopping robots may soon be in combat. When fully operational, the four-wheeled hopper robots will navigate autonomously by wheel and jump – with one mighty leg – onto or over obstacles of more than 25 feet, said Jon Salton, Sandia program manager.
His landing is none too graceful, but from the photos, it looks like the frame can operate equally well with either side up, and that his, er, “fifth limb” can fire in either direction. [via IEEE Spectrum]