Ballbot Balancing Upright Robot

Ballbot offers a unique robot design for mobility; it can move in any direction easily because it balances on a single ball that rotates in any direction.


(Omnidirectional Ballbot Robot)

Ballbot is the creation of Carnegie Mellon University robotics Professor and inventor Ralph Hollis, who started working on it at home and then attracted funding from the National Science Foundation.

"We wanted to create a robot that can maneuver easily and is tall enough to look you in the eye," Hollis said. "Ballbot is tall and skinny, with a much higher center of gravity than traditional wheeled robots. Because it is omnidirectional, it can move easily in any direction without having to turn first."

Ballbot's onboard computer gathers data relevant to balance from its sensors and adjusts the ball accordingly.

Science fiction enthusiasts should be able to remember a robot that moves on a single ball unipod foundation. Unfortunately, I can't! Reader comments are encouraged. The closest I can get is the single wheel robot WA-7, the robotic waitress from Dex's Diner in Star Wars II Attack of the Clones.


(WA-7 robotic waitress)

As you can see, WA-7 moves on a cross-section of a sphere, which is close.

It occurs to me that the simplest version of this robot is the Rotundus spherical robot - the robot is the sphere and the sphere is the robot. My other favorite sphere-based robot is the cockroach driven robot

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/9/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Qbit Robot Bartender Also Makes Coffee
'...he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.' - Alfred Bester, 1956.

Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Massage Robot Has Soft Hands, Er, Pads
'The automatic massager began to fumble gently over my naked form.' - AE van Vogt, 1944

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...' - Abraham Merritt, 1920.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Via Virtual Reality, Mother Encounters Deceased Daughter
'But that barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Clothes That Do Photosynthesis
'Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture...'

Stratuscent Electronic Nose
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetra hydrocarbons.'

CIMON Companion Robot For Space Station Astronauts
'... in some departments their power is absolute.'

Qbit Robot Bartender Also Makes Coffee
'...he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.'

Moving Desks Not SciFi After All
'Charged with hope, he zipped from stack to stack...'

Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).

Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'

Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'

Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.'

Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'

The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.'

Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.'

Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'

Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'

Airbnb Has AI Psychiatrist Looking At Your Facebook
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.