BallIP 7.5kg robot can balance on a ball

BallIP 7.5kg robot can balance on a ball

Postby adam.klaptocz on 07 May 2010, 10:18

Masaaki Kumagai, director of the Robot Development Engineering Lab at Japan's Tohoku Gakuin University, has developed a robot balancing on a ball. The robot, called BallIP, which is short for Ball Inverted Pendulum, is about half meter high, weighs 7.5 kg. It balances on a 3.6-kg, rubber-coated bowling ball using three omnidirectional wheels. The peculiar setup combined with the inherent instability of the inverted-pendulum setup gives the robot great maneuverability, allowing it to balance on the spot even when pushed, to immediately move in all directions without having to first turn a wheel-base, and to pirouette on the spot.



In a demonstration, Kumagai showed three BallIPs cooperating to carry a large wooden frame. In future work he plans on extending the capabilities of the robots to allow them to easily cooperate with humans for carrying and transporting heavy objects.

IEEE Spectrum
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