It can do that because of the fact it weighs just four grams. Clearly a jumping robots needs to be light, and this one uses springs made from a shape memory alloy of Titanium and Nickel. Those springs remember their initial shape and snap back to it when warmed slightly — in this case, by a little electric current. Then — pop! — up it goes.


The researchers claims that the beauty of these little robots could be how easy they are to store and transport. “Just like Ikea furniture, these robots could be shipped in flat layers that could then be easily assembled,” explains Jamie Paik, who leads the research.