Ballbot Research Group
A ballbot is a dynamically-stable mobile robot designed to balance on a single spherical wheel (i.e., a ball). Through its single contact point with the ground, a ballbot is omnidirectional and thus exceptionally agile, maneuverable and organic in motion compared to other ground vehicles. Its dynamic stability enables improved navigability in narrow, crowded and dynamic environments. The ballbot has five degrees of freedom and works on the same principle as that of an inverted pendulum.
The first successful ballbot was developed in 2005 by Prof. Ralph Hollis at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Several Ballbot have been developed since then but two of them where distinguishable. Prof. Masaaki Kumagai developed BallIP in 2008 at Tohoku Gakuin University, Japan. BallIP introduced new mechanical structure for actuating the ball. A group of mechanical engineering students at ETH Zurich, Switzerland developed Rezero in 2010. Rezero re-emphasized the fast and graceful motions that can be achieved using ballbots.
We started working on Ballbot and developed AUTBallbot at 2012 which could stabilize more accurately on the ball. Constructing Calibrated IMU and low backlash Timing belt Gearbox was reasons to this improvement. The AUTBallbot could win several awards (1th place of the 7th international RoboCup Iran Open competitions 2012, 1th place in the Amirkabir robotics and artificial intelligence festival, 3th place of applied research in the 14th Khwarizmi youth festival)
We are working on these Ballbot issues:
- Developing new Ballbot with structural improvement
- Design and analyze new controller in order to enlarge stability region against push
- Enable the Ballbot to move on different terrains
- Implementing hardware platform on FPGA to speed up signal processing
- Accurate IMU Calibration and adjust to the Ballbot movement