Rhodri Armour, a PhD student at the University of Bath, has created a robot that can roll across smooth terrain like a ball and jump over obstacles like a grasshopper. The robot, called Jollbot, is a design exercise intended to solve the sorts of problems that would face a land survey robot or planetary exploration robot. The spherical robot is very lightweight and inexpensive. Small motors are used to build up energy in the springy, spherical exoskeleton by compressing it. When it's ready to jump, the skeleton springs back to its normal spherical shape, propelling the robot into the air. The same spring exoskeleton absorbs the impact energy when it returns to the ground. Props to Jan for sending us the link!