A hopping robot is proposed based on a variable-structure mass-elastica system. The elastica is symmetrically connected to the mass and behaves like a spring. The stiffness of the elastica can be changed by changing its boundary conditions. The deformation of the elastica is obtained by solving a two-point boundary value problem. The ensuing force-displacement characteristics of the elastica are used to modulate the energy of the system to control the hopping height. Simulation results show that height of the mass can be controlled by switching the boundary conditions of the elastica in the flight and contact phases.

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