The problem of how to get a robot from point A to point B has many solutions, and by far the most interesting (and creepy) ones are animal-based. You probably remember Boston Dynamics' doglike robot that scared the crap out of me and Carnegie Mellon's snakebot, which also gave me nightmares. (Ed. note: Likewise, the gallop of the former company's most recent critter is still echoing in my head). But a new robot produced in collaboration between aforementioned Boston Dynamics and the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force—a robot based on the sand flea—has a rather amazing means of obstacle navigation:
Sand Flea is an 11-lb robot with one trick up its sleeve: Normally it drives like an RC car, but when it needs to it can jump 30 feet into the air. An onboard stabilization system keeps it oriented during flight to improve the view from the video uplink and to control landings.
I've said this before of a wall-climbing robot from Disney Research, and I'm only half-joking: I want to see these things adapted to urban food and package delivery. It'd be worth the occasional destroyed burrito to see these little guys hop into your window every day at lunchtime.