This cool little robot is about the size and shape of a basketball, but it's shell is made of many individual plates that are backed by little extendable arms, and the plates can move individually or in concert, allowing the little robot to roll itself across the floor, stop, stand up, or squeeze itself smaller to go through a small space. Neat robot!
Kare Halvorsen designed the robot and has entered it in a competition. Here is what he says about his robot:
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Tell us briefly about your project. Is it a work of art or does it serve another function?
MorpHex is mostly a work of art and goes in the category of hobby robotics. It’s a remotely operated robot. I believe it could be used in animatronics as a transforming robot as well.
When did you start working on this project and how long did it take you to complete?
I started working on this project around August 2010 and I’m still working on it.
What was your goal in building this project?
The main goal of this project was to make a hexapod robot that could transform into a sphere shape and back. In “sphere mode” the robot should be able to roll freely like a ball.
Does your project help to solve a problem? If so what problem?
MorpHex demonstrate the challenge of transformation in real world. In almost every science fiction movie computer graphics are used to animate transforming robots. This project solves this problem for real!
What makes your idea unique?
A robot that is able to walk with legs and transform into a perfect sphere shape and roll like a ball is very unique. There has been made a lot of walking robots and remotely operated balls but not a robot that combines these two features (as far as I know).
In what capacity are you using bearings and what type of bearings?
I’m using 36 ball bearings (od 8, id 3 and w 4mm) with flange. 12 of the bearings in the body core play a key role keeping the robot in one piece. There are also bearings in each of the 25 servos.
What is the most important thing you want people to know about your project?
That robotics is fun and very challenging. I know that MorpHex and my other hobby robotics projects will inspire many people to study robotics or start making their own robots.
How will you use the $10,000 prize?
To make more advanced robots. I would also like to invest in a CNC machine; so far I’ve made most of the custom parts by hand.