When you think of robots do you think of leaping bits of silicone powered by explosions? Probably not, but researchers based at Harvard University in the US have made just such a device. The small triped is simply made from commercial silicone that's moulded into a simple shape with a valve at the end of each leg. When a mix of methane and oxygen is pumped into the hollow legs of the robot and lit with a spark the two gases quickly react and cause an explosion and a large amount of expanding gas that deforms the robot causing it to leap high into the air. In fact the researchers don't know quite how high their 1cm robot can leap because they were testing it in a 30cm high container and it the robot hit the top.
Can robots be powered by explosions?