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Hopping Machine

Screw wheels, treads or walking. For some robots and vehicles, their sole means of mobility is jumping or hopping around, as silly as that might seem at first glance.

In reality, this is a Justified Trope as this enables robots to actually walk and even climb the stairs without actually having any knees to bend, which simplifies their construction, albeit can leave them vulnerable to falling over.

See also Spring Coil.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime/Manga 
  • A non-robotic example that doesn't use legs to begin with, but in one early episode of Beyblade, Kenny, normally a non-action character, attempts to enter a beyblade contest with a spring loaded top in lieu of the traditional spinning method. This works well enough against some of the weaker players due to being evasive and being out of the range of attack most of the time until the opponent's top run out of spinning momentum, but due to its inability to attack it became easy prey to Kai's superior blade and skill.

    Comic Books 
  • The Leapfrog from Runaways.
  • Gaston Lagaffe's perpetual machine, a conical spring with a red ball attached to the top. After its first appearance, it is occasionally seen boinging around the office.

    Fan Works 

    Literature 
  • In the Red Dwarf novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, cars on the Spanish-owned port of Mimas on one of the moons of Saturn are a variation on the trope: they normally employ wheels but can also use hydraulic legs to leap into the air in order to bypass the city's notorious traffic congestion. The first chapter, in which Lister is scraping a living hotwiring cabs for the night and picking up fares, goes into some detail about the disadvantages of this technology.
  • In the opening of Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling, the heroine rescues her brother using a hopping vehicle. Later, that brother has some drugs and other items smuggled across the border to him using a one-legged hopping robot carrier.
  • At the end of Bert's Hall of Great Inventions, Bert shows Ernie an electric hopping baby carriage. As in the rest of the book, Ernie is reminded of an animal with similar abilities.
  • In Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus, Lucky needs to get somewhere fast and all the regular vehicles are being used to evacuate the sector of the Underwater City. A policeman jokingly suggests that he take a "hopper"—a ludicrous hopping vehicle that was a System-wide fad some years back—and Lucky takes him up on it.

    Live Action Television 

    Tabletop Games 
  • GURPS 4th edition Ultratech handbook includes, in its chapter on Nano Machines, the "hopper" type—microbots that resemble metallic fleas or crickets.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • One of the Convert-A-Car's alternate forms in the Wacky Races uses 'Pogo Power'.
  • The Luxo lamp.
  • A Disney homefront Wartime Cartoon starring Goofy proposed saving on rationed gasoline and tires by using pogo sticks as regular transportation.
  • Wile E. Coyote tried using a jet-propelled pogo stick - it didn't go well.
  • Not a robot, but Coil Man from The Impossibles hops around on a spring leg.

    Webcomics 
  • Narbonic's Professor Madblood once attempted to build a giant robot, but he only got as far as building a giant robotic foot, which has to move by hopping.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, Riff's Mark-19 robot can do this, but it only works once.
  • The Rabbit Ambulance from WebcomicAchewood.

    Real Life 


FembotRobotIn the Future, We Still Have Roombas
Hippie VanVehicle IndexHoverboard
Heart DriveRobot Roll CallIn the Future, We Still Have Roombas
Sonic Advance TrilogyImageSource/Video GamesSonic the Hedgehog (2006)

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