A shoebox-sized military robot has been revealed which can jump over walls 25ft (7.5m) high.

The Precision Urban Hopper -- which looks like it could just as easily be this year's must-have Christmas toy -- has been funded by DARPA, the US military's research arm.

It is essentially a GPS-guided remote control car, but is fitted with a piston leg which can accurately propel it onto, or over, obstacles of more than 25 feet tall.

Makers say the four-wheeled surveillance bot can overcome as many as 30 obstacles 40-60 times it's own size, and automatically adjusts controls for hop height depending whether it is jumping from concrete, asphalt or sand.

The researchers at Sandia said they considered making the bot hover rather than hop, but found that hopping is five times more efficient when traversing obstacles less than 10 meters -- even if it doesn't look quite as cool.

In addition to providing military assistance when it is deployed in late 2010, the hopping robot could be rolled out for use in law enforcement and homeland security, generally anywhere that wall jumping may be required. Keep reading to see video of the hopper in action.