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Hopping Machine

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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 it enables robots to walk and even climb stairs without having any knees to bend, which simplifies their construction (while also opening them up to falling over, however).

See also Spring Coil.


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  • Kyōju from Bakuten Shoot Beyblade specializes in the Einstein series of beyblades, which have the ability to hop by means of a spring in the center. The main advantage is being able to avoid the opponent's bey. Kyōju isn't primarily a blader himself, but when he enters the ring he shows to be very capable with the mechanic.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

  • 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.
  • Isaac Asimov's Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus: "Hoppers"—a ludicrous hopping vehicle that was a System-wide fad some years back—is used by Lucky to get out of a large crowd of people when all the regular vehicles are being used to evacuate that sector of the Underwater City. A policeman jokingly suggests the Hopper, which is a tall vehicle with a small cabin. The singular leg is over seven feet tall and designed to launch it into the air. The rotors above the cabin help keep it aloft longer, and jets of air are used to help clear the area as it lands.

    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.
  • In BattleTech, the Falconer Battlemech is memetically known as being one. Due to having jump jets and legs that have no visible knees, it's a running joke that it can't actually walk and is forced to jump everywhere (which is not far off from how players tend to run it).

    Video Games 

  • In Hue Are YouJump bot is a spring based robot Build-a made for fun. She and Build-b later made a Flip bot to go with it.
  • 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 Achewood.

    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.

    Real Life 
  • The 3D One-Leg Hopper.
  • Semi-example: Self-Healing Minefield.
  • The Soviet Mars probe Phobos 2 was intended to dop a hopping lander onto Mars's moon Phobos. Unfortunately, contact was lost with the probe before that could happen.
  • Salto, the small one-legged hopping robot from Berkeley.


Video Example(s):


Dr. Eggman's Spring Pod

The first phase of the final boss, Dr. Eggman, involves him hopping around the arena in a spring pod. Sonic can attack the pod from the top or the sides, but he must be careful not to go underneath it.

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