Balancing Cube Robot from Zurich!

by Mark R

I realize that the title of this sounds like some low-budget science fiction film from the fifties or the sixties, but is a real thing.

I have included a video of this product from Sebastian Trimpe and Raffaello D’Andrea at the Institute of Dynamic Systems and Control researchers. This is the Balancing Cube.

Yes, don’t ask me why it called the Balancing Cube is called a cube when it is clearly some triangular 3D star thing. I guess they didn’t like the sound of that.

Anyway, special sensors and motors manage to shift the weights around in it so it will stay perfectly balanced on a point.

Can I just say that this is a very neat technology working here? Or are we just used to technology offering us perfect balance? Yes, we live in a post Segway world, but I think we have lost all sense of wonder with perfect balance. I mean, it took me years to master riding a bike when I was a kid, and it was always the whole balancing part that just amazed me.

Anyway, I noticed in the video that too much of a push caused this guy to topple over and then put it back up to balanced again.

I say they should make this so it will “roll” and shift the points that it balances on. Of course, this feels rather obvious to me. I’m sure they are working on it.


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