Scientists at the ETH Zurich Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control (really has a ring to it) have developed Cubli, a robotic cube that can balance itself on its vertices and even jump and 'walk' while maintaining balance. Wow, I never thought I'd be so afraid of a shape.
The cube features three "reaction wheels" mounted on the cube's faces, each spinning at high angular velocities. Sudden braking causes the cube to jump up, and then motored torques allow it to balance at whatever angle it jumps to. Finally, the fall of the cube can also be controlled, giving it the appearance of walking.
Cool, so where's my self-balancing mecha? I've always wanted a Segway but I really want something that 1. doesn't make me look so dorky and 2. I don't have to stand up on. I hate standing. As far as body positions go, standing is probably my least favorite, second only to 'being tied to something and left there'.
Keep going for a worthwhile video demo.
Thanks to Luka, Job, DAnny, tuqueque, Squeezy E, Alex and jessie, half of which were ready to welcome our new geometric overlords with open arms and will later be prosecuted as traitors to humanity.