The End Nears: Cubli, The Walking, Jumping, Balancing On One Corner Robotic Cube

December 23, 2013


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.

  • Where's the SCP Foundation?!?!

  • Dani

    Put this technology in a rolling dice and you have a winner. Literally and figuratively.

  • Matt Fricke

    We can expect to see a little more action from the companion cubes in Portal 3 ;P

  • expansivemango

    I see the future of robots that can pop-and-lock

  • Steven Hill

    oh hell no. that dude with the nails in his face is gonna come out of that.

  • KLanD

    It must be said..

    Shut up and take my money!

  • CawaLimon

    I want a 4-hour documentary on how this thing works! I know this isn't exactly a groundbreaking invention, but it's probably one of the most interesting things I've seen this year. Impressive science!

  • Vladeon

    I bet you won't be saying that when one of these bastards uses rhat angular momentum to jump up and shove a knife through your heart. I say we burn them all and forget any of this happened at all.

  • Billy___Bob

    I'm more worried about my ankles than my heart. :)

    High top boots should save the day.

  • disqus_k2QxOV9H7Z

    You sounds like GW, and the writer of this article doesn't sounds like you at all. Did the cubes expelled you and placed a pro robot writer in your place?

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