This transformer 'bot is one of the more interesting and sort-of-creepy robots we have seen in a while — it can curl up in a ball and await a command, or unfold its servo-driven limbs and pick its way, crab-like, across a surface. It cannot roll yet, but we are actually OK with this, because there is something much more unsettling about a rolling robot that unfolds and starts to walk.
MorpHex is the brainchild of Norwegian engineer Kare Halvorsen, aka Zenta, who chronicles his robot-building experience on his blog. It started as a cut-up globe from Toys 'R' Us, and now it has 25 servos and a Basicmicro ARC-32 board, which is not yet programmed to roll. But Halvorsen said that's his next step. Watch it fold up its arms into a sphere and then gently unfold them to walk.
It's quieter and sleeker than this other DIY hexapod, and smaller than the albino Fraunhofer spider-bot, but somehow that makes it creepier. It's especially weird to see it shut down when Halvorsen prods it with a stick ...
That thing is awesome!
I think the movement is kind of cool. With more future programming, I suspect they will get a lot more interesting movements out of this little round bot. I look forward to further videos.
Reminds me of lots of things from video games.
not too impressive right now, but I defiantly see potential.
also, its mobility could be greatly increased if the top portion was also constructed of legs, so it could wouldn't matter what angle it was at in order to get up and walk. It could also roll real nicely, I think, in this stage.
why learn from your own mistakes, when you could learn from the mistakes of others?
“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible” -Albert Ein
if the top part had its panels shaped the right way, it could be used as a propeller so it could hover, roll or walk.
an all around versatile robot.
20ft across and carbon fiber...now that id like to play with.
This kind of stuff has always fascinated me, ever since I was a kid. That looks to be a unique locomotion. Some solar cells on the outer sphere and we could have several scouting bots for various extraterrestrial rovers. 4 of these little guys going in each direction to scout ahead of the main rover to pinpoint potential locations of interest. That or I would like one as a pet....
That's an awesome robot! I could use one of those at home.
I wonder if it will ever get to the point in development that it can scamper around in even frightening speeds, like the spider robots always portrayed in video games, and such. Right now, I suppose it seems quite out of reach.
Great design, I thought about this for days after I saw it. I bet it could be made to roll by pushing the far side legs while balanced on the equator. Also use gyros and the other legs to keep it balanced. Have to say pretty darn epic.
If this trend goes on. We might be able to see more of the technologies first envisioned through scifi comic books and video games within our lifetimes.
Scifi writers (though a bit of a hit and miss) are some of the most underrated visionaries that drives our world ever onwards to achieve the fantasies that they could only dream about in their 'sacred scriptures'.
I wonder if somewhere in our dystopian/utopian future, there would be a collection of techno bibles that chronicles the advancement of our culture as foreseen in their prophetic writings.