When we think of artificially intelligent robots and machines, we often regard their algorithms as more intellectual properties rather than tools for physical applications. We know future AI bots will have the brains, but just how coordinated and graceful with they be? If the Cubli device is any indication, the answer is clear: AI machines of tomorrow will be as graceful as ballerinas.
PHOTOS: Tasty Tech Eye Candy Of The Week
Developed by researchers Gajamohan Mohanarajah and Raffaello D'Andrea at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control in Switzerland, Cubli is a small 6-inch cube equipped with three reaction wheels that spin and stop to control the movement and momentum of the block. Via a series of intelligent balancing algorithms and sensors, Cubli can effectively stand on its face, hop onto its edge and balance on one corner as if it were pirouetting. By coordinating all three movements, it can essentially walk. Cubli can even keep its balance on shifting inclines.
Each reaction wheel is attached to a DC motor and motor controllers, housed next to inertial sensors, a processor and batteries.