Even when you start pushing this odd-looking robot around, it stays upright. Here’s Ballbot, a robot that balances on its single spherical wheel that’s about the size of a bowling ball. It stays upright using “dynamic stability,” which represents a significant step toward the goal of creating robots that can gracefully move around people and someday become our obedient servants.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Intelligent Workplace is where Ballbot is taking its first baby steps, or should we say, rolls. It has a long way to go before it has those endearing anthropomorphic qualities that might make it appealing to consumers, but this one-wheel idea looks like a winner. Expect to see lots of one-wheeled robots in the near future. Check out the remarkable videos after the jump.