SIMbot’s Electronics Make the Robot Glide on a Ball

Published by , October 10, 2016 2:19 am

(ZDNet) Ralph Hollis, a research professor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute invented the ballbot, a robot that moves more gracefully than most machines, since its body glides along a single ball. Now the ballbot is getting an upgrade. Hollis partnered with Masaaki Kumagai, a professor of engineering at Tohoku Gakuin University in Japan, to create a spherical induction motor (SIM).
The new robot, called SIMbot, is even more elegant than the original because it eliminates mechanical drive systems. Instead of mechanics, the new robot relies on electronics and software, so the only moving parts are the ball and the robot’s body. Streamlining a robot’s design can cut back on maintenance and repairs by eliminating any extra parts that could break. Even better, transitioning from mechanical to electronic parts simplifies design and could also save money.

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