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'Jet-Powered' Feet Enable Robot to Balance and Step Over Large Gaps

The ability to step over large obstacles is important for a humanoid robot during missions in extreme environments, such as the terrain after a natural disaster. Researchers from Guangdong University of Technology in China have developed a ducted-fan propulsion system that drives the legs of a bipedal robot, named Jet-HR1 (Jet Humanoid Robot version 1), over broad gaps. The ducted fans on Jet-HR1's feet allow the robot to stretch its legs out farther - without falling - and take larger steps than it traditionally would be able to. The researchers presented the technology at the IEEE International Conference on Humanoid Robotics.