Before the world knew him as Mario, Nintendo's iconic plumber had a simpler name: Jumpman. That name makes sense, when you think about it: Mario is defined by his ability to jump. But lately, I've become fascinated by the people who play—and beat—Super Mario 64 without jumping a single time.
Well, we knew it had to happen someday. A DARPA-funded robotic cheetah has been released into the wild, so to speak. A new algorithm developed by MIT researchers now allows their quadruped to run and jump — while untethered — across a field of grass.
Most jumping animals - such as frogs and grasshoppers - have some powerful adaptations that basically make their legs into giant springs. But our ape cousins manage to leap insane distances through sheer force of will, without any helpful adaptations.
The Hayden Christensen teleportation movie Jumper comes out in a month, and of course there's a video game to go with it. You'll play the Jamie Bell jumper character Griffin from the movie, who has a particular bone to pick with the anti-Jumper Paladins who are trying to track him down: they killed his parents. Of…