LEONARDO, which stands for LEgs ONboARD drOne, is a mix between bipedal bot and drone, and uses a combination of multi-joint legs and propellers to strut, fly, balance and tackle all sorts of tricky terrain.
The idea is that LEO could use its mix of locomotive talents to avoid the pitfalls of other purely ground-based bipedal bots — in harrowing terrain, LEO would simply hover or fly. The hybrid approach also provides precision balance, enough so that LEO can successfully walk a slackline without falling.
While LEO is still mostly an experiment, researchers say the technology developed for the bot could have applications in adaptive landing gear for airborne robots or even in bots designed to traverse Mars. For now, however, we can just enjoy the novelty of watching a robot ride a freakin’ skateboard