Ballbot Robot moves and balances on a single ball

by Gareth Mankoo

Now here’s a robot that does tricks, not on a press of a button or before an applauding audience, but all the time! It’s called the Ballbot robot and it moves around on a single large ball. It isn’t a small stubby thing that is easy to maneuver around; instead, it’s as tall as a person. Its strengths include the ability to fit into smaller spaces, smooth and graceful movement and a bright possibility of aiding the movement of elderly or physically challenged folk. The robot has an onboard controller that interprets data that is collected, with the help of a 200 MHz Pentium processor. The data collection is done with a Crossbow Technology VG700CA-200 Inertial Measuring Unit (IMU).

The robot does a pretty good job in mastering balance as well as all the fine things that it is programmed for. It’s the brain child of one Professor Ralph Hollis and his team of professors and students at the Microdynamics System Laboratory in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon.
[The Future Of Things]

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