Researchers at the UC Berkeley have developed autonomous micro-mechanical robots that can jump 30 times their height. The microrobots use solar power to stretch a 9 micron-thick rubber band (the world's smallest known rubber band!). Releasing the stretched rubber band powers their ballistic jumping behavior. The 7mm robot can jump over 200mm high. This flea-like jumping solves two of the major problems that have plagued microrobots - their inability to move large distances quickly and the problem of scaling uneven terrain. One obvious use of the jumping microbots is to load them with sensors and create distributed sensor networks for military-surveillance. Hundreds or thousands of hopping flea-bots could be dropped from planes. For more see the UC Berkeley microbots website or the paper by researcher Sara Bergbreiter titled, Design of an Autonomous Jumping Microbot (PDF format). This research is part of the Smart Dust project which we've reported on before.