UCT Department of Electrical Engineering

SA jumps for joy as UCT students build Africa’s first jumping robot!

A leap in the right direction as UCT students design Africa’s first jumping robot, Baleka!

In a first for South Africa, University of Cape Town engineering students built a jumping robot called Baleka – a Zulu word for “run”.

The team spent two years designing and optimising the robot under Dr Amir Patel, a senior lecturer with the Department of Electrical Engineering, with the aim to further the general state of research within robotics as we know it.

According to Patel, Baleka is a biped which means it’s a two-legged robot and it was specifically designed for acceleration.


“The hope is that our work will not only result in novel robotic applications but also serve as platforms for biomechanics to better understand the way humans and animals move,” Patel said. The plan is to develop Baleka even further so that it can also run.

“This jumping bot is setting the stage for the future of robotics research led by Dr Amir Patel’s team at the UCT Department of Electrical Engineering. It is work that can not only improve the way robots move but also influence sports science and inspire young minds,” UCT wrote on its website.


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