A group led by a Japanese engineering professor said Thursday it has developed a robot that can perform freestyle skiing and associated aerial stunts such as midair somersaults and twists.

The group, led by Kazuo Yoshida, a professor in the science and engineering department at Tokyo’s Keio University, said the robot — standing 50 cm tall and weighing 4.3 kg — could also be used in space.

They said the robot, which moves according to a recorded program of instructions via radio transmission, can travel a speed of about 27 kph while sliding down a 4-meter-high platform before jumping off to perform its tricks.

Yoshida said their invention will lead to the development of new competitive techniques for robots in freestyle skiing and gymnastics, as well as technology in which the robot will be able to change its body direction.

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