Inspired by Star Wars, and their cool Droideka robots, Japanese researchers at the Chiba Institute of Technology have created this super cute QRoSS robot that can do directed rolling, then stick its legs out and walk! And survive perhaps being tossed.
(QRoSS Robot Inspired By Star Wars Droidekas video)
Researchers cite three inspirations for their design — the awesome Droidekas from the Star Wars fanchise, the mascot Haro from the Gundam anime series, and the existing spherical transforming robot MorpHex, which can also switch from a roll to a walk. The QRoSS robot is similar to the MorpHex, but it has one significant difference. While the MorpHex incorporates its legs into the shell, the QRoSS separates the walking system from the shell.
The QRoSS is constructed using a central pole that is enclosed inside a spherical roll cage. When not in use, the legs are stored safely inside this shell, which protects the robot from falls and allows it to roll smoothly across a surface. When it’s time to walk, the robot activates the twelve servos that are used to control its legs, which are constructed from titanium and shape-memory alloy along with polyurethane foam shock absorbers. The four legs extend out from the central pole and move independently from the stationary roll cage shell.
Of course, fans of Star Wars know all about droidekas, from the 1999 film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.