The MIT robot is the first to effectively and—most horrifyingly—self-sufficiently jump and land, hopping over obstacles by doing what any natural animal does. It recognizes an item, distinguishes it as an obstruction, gauges the impediment’s separation and stature, computes the best point from which to jump, conforms its stride, and applies adequate descending weight to address the roadblock. At that point, as it jumps, it masterminds its appendages so as to counter the forward power while holding parity and rapidly continuing forward movement.

In layman’s terms: it hops and grou