The tall 95-pound machine functions somewhat like a mouse ball, except in reverse: Internal sensors provide balance information to an on-board computer to activate rollers that mobilize the ball. When it's not moving, Ballbot uses three retractable legs to stay standing. So far, researchers have set it in motion on carpeted surfaces. Future designs could include a head and a pair of arms--swinging the arms would help the robot balance and turn.
August 10, 2006 9:08 AM PDT
Photo by: Michael Goldfein
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