A team of researchers at Cornell University has unveiled a frog-like robot that relies on rapid explosions for its agile leaps. Departing from conventional methods involving electric motors and batteries, the team turned to an unexpected power source: methane. This chemical fuel boasts an energy storage density surpassing that of lithium-ion batteries and, remarkably, can be scaled down to accommodate insect-sized devices, according to an article on TechEBlog.
At its core lay two 3D-printed combustion chambers, each weighing 325 milligrams. These chambers employ a duo of electrodes to initiate a spark, setting off a controlled reaction between methane and oxygen. This resulted in a minuscule yet potent explosion, generating an impressive 9.5 newtons of force.