BallP bowling ball 'bot puts your sense of balance to shame (video)

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|04.30.10

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BallP bowling ball 'bot puts your sense of balance to shame (video)
We've seen robots play Soccer, Tennis, and Battle Ball, and now Dr. Masaaki Kumagai, director of Tohoku Gakuin University's Robot Development Engineering Laboratory, brings us BallP (or Ball Inverted Pendulum): a 20-inch, 16.5-pound robot that derives its name from the bowling ball that it balances on. Using three omni-directional wheels, the robot can stand still, move in any direction, and pivot along its vertical axis. A combination of motors, micro-step controllers, gyroscopes, and accelerometers allows the thing to carry equipment -- either on its own, or with the help of a human operator (sort of like a high-tech wheel barrow). If anything, it's a lot less intrusive than CMU's Ballbot -- our previous favorite robot butler (yes, in the end it all comes down to who can get us a cold one the fastest). Video after the break.


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