“This is worth obsessing over”
If you are like me, then you tend to find immense fascination in simple objects that can do… wonders. Well the Cubli can do just that. Other than its shape, its far from simple. The device is technically a robot. Its compact volume holds three motors respectively attached to a wheel, sensors, batteries, and a processor. The sensors are inertial sensors which has the capability to measure acceleration, tilt, shock, vibration, rotation, and multiple degrees-of-freedom. Then, of course, the inertial sensor talks back to the processor, and the processor undoes a complex algorithm that spins each motor until the cube reaches an angular velocity of 0 (in the case that you’d want the cube to balance on its side or on a corner). Its a really clever trick and extremely fun to watch. This is definitely the smartest and most able bodied cube the world has ever seen, but is it useful?
Who cares? I guess we tend ask that question way too much- is it useful… Its cool, and that should be enough. But of course its useful. In fact, its essential to a lot of the design problems that robotic engineers are facing on a constant basis, balance. More often than not, a robot’s success is due largely in part to how well it maintains a center of gravity. Sense this cube is able to balance better than the average human (let alone on a pointed edge), then at the very least the inertial algorithm has a lot of potential in the future of robotic development. In the mean time, scroll down to watch this baby in action!