A robot that balances on a ball


24 Responses to “A robot that balances on a ball”

  1. technogeek says:

    It’s just a two-axis indirect segway, right?

  2. DJBudSonic says:

    It’s great to think someone built ONE of these, then suddenly there are THREE!

  3. aaronlyon says:


  4. Anonymous says:

    But does it have the proper amount of suction?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hey, it’s just like the biblical prophecy!
    (seriously folks. I just can’t remember which book. But some people say the line refers to aliens)

  6. lava says:

    hey! its Serge!

  7. KeithIrwin says:

    Honestly, I think that the video does a pretty good job of showing the answer to why. Those look like they’d be very useful in any situations where you need to move a lot of stuff around a large flat area (I’m assuming that they don’t really handle more rugged terrain currently). If I were setting up a fulfillment warehouse of some sort, I’d love to have some of those to help the workers out.

  8. lasttide says:

    It’s a classic controls problem (the inverted pendulum) taken to its logical extreme. Cool stuff.

  9. Anonymous says:

    wow, looks like someone one-upped CMU’s ballbot!

  10. airshowfan says:

    I’ve always thought it would be interesting to build a wheelchair where the person “stands” (by being on seat that’s like a bicycle seat, or a motorcycle saddle, or a parachute harness, or at least a knee chair) over something like this. This would reduce their footprint, similarly to Dean Kamen’s iBOT wheelchair and of course to the Segway, but even more so: it would fit entirely under the person, without anything sticking out (except possibly the person’s legs, depending on how solidly/comfortably they can be if their butt is not on top of a horizontal surface). A well-designed and expertly-controlled one would even allow for waltzing, etc.

    I don’t know why no one is working on that. If I lost the use of my legs (or someone very close to me became a paraplegic), and I had enough money, I’d hire robotics people to do it. And there must be people in that position somewhere in the world.

  11. Jordan says:

    Sweet! Now all we need to do is mount on of those on top of one of these:


    …and then repeat until we have a giant self-balancing tower!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well, now we can finally do that Gizmoduck movie in live action.

  13. Cheaplazymom says:

    Well, botboy does a better job of balancing on a ball than my daughter! http://vimeo.com/7150173 But, then, she can make felt animals and play the piano.

    • Deidzoeb says:

      Cheaplazymom, your daughter is great and I’ma let you finish, but there was a boingboing post about a girl reciting Pi while balancing books on her head and spinning a Rubik’s Cube:

      Does your daughter make felt animals *while* playing the piano? She only needs one more gimmick and then she’ll be boingable.

      • Cheaplazymom says:

        well, to be truly boingworthy she would need to be playing a song about traveling through a worm hole on an electric ukulele powered by her diy solar panel hat while balancing on a ball. I don’t see it happening anytime soon!

  14. DarthVain says:


    This is obviously a Ball that balances Robots.

  15. Deidzoeb says:

    The Dyson Ball vacuum people will need tissues when they watch this, either to clean up their tears or other messes related to over-excitement.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m more impressed by the standing cat video. How sad is that.

  17. Pantograph says:

    One more area in which machines are superior to me. *sigh*

  18. flwombat says:

    I’m not asking “why”, I’m asking “when I’m 100 years old can I pretty please have a power-chair that rides on a ball?”

    It’s the intermediate step between the Hoveround scooter and the actually-hovering lounge chairs in WALL-E!

  19. Brainspore says:

    I don’t recommend that anyone watch that awful 2005 movie “Robots,” but the design for the character voiced by Mel Brooks was based on this concept. It’s also been used for several of the robots in the “Ratchet & Clank” series.

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