Robots with Balls

Remember Marble Madness ? It was an arcade game in which the player spun a trackball in order to roll a marble through a maze. The Ballbot , developed at Carnegie-Mellon, operates on a similar principle. This five foot tower of electronics can not only move by rolling its single spherical appendage, it can also balance in place.


Impressive! But it takes more than one ball to make a man. These spherical space probes could be sent to Mars or any other planet en masse, a hopping horde of silicon scientists that’s unimpeded by uneven terrain.

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