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Circus Freak!: Robot Balances Atop Ball

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This is a robot that balances itself on top of a ball. Impressive, but I've seen a clown at the circus do the same thing while juggling. Plus I winged a handful of peanuts at him.

Dr. Masaaki Kumagai, director of the Robot Development Engineering Laboratory at Tohoku Gakuin University, in Tagajo City, Japan, has built wheeled robots, crawling robots, quadruped robots, biped robots, and biped robots on roller skates.


Then one day a student approached him to suggest they build a robot that would balance on a ball.

Dr. Kumagai thought it was a wonderful idea.

The robot they built rides on a rubber-coated bowling ball, which is driven by three omnidirectional wheels. The robot can not only stand still but also move in any direction and pivot around its vertical axis.

Now I know what you're thinking, "but GW, a ball-balancing robot doesn't seem that threatening -- you're just being paranoid". And that's where you're wrong. Just think about it: a robot that can balance itself on a ball is literally inches from your wiener. No thank you!

Hit the jump for a video of the peener destroyer in action.

A Robot That Balances on a Ball [ieee]

Thanks to erico and joseph, who can both balance on one foot while touching their noses even after they've been drinking. Superpowers I smell superpowers.

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