Meet Hedgehog, NASA’s new hopping rover

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Hedgehog is NASA’s new concept for a robot.  It’s smaller and doesn’t have wheels like traditional Mars rovers, for example.

This new robot can hop, tumble and flip over a surface instead of rolling on wheels.  The project is being jointly developed by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; Stanford University in Stanford, California; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

“It is shaped like a cube and can operate no matter which side it lands on,” said Issa Nesnas, leader of the JPL team.

Nesnas said the basic concept is a cube with spikes that moves by spinning and braking internal flywheels. The spikes protect the robot’s body from the terrain and act as feet while hopping and tumbling.

Read more at jpl.nasa.gov.