Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, led by Tin Lun Lam have unveiled FreeBOT, which is a modular freeform spherical robot that can swarm together to easily clear obstacles. Inside the iron sphere, you’ll find two motorized wheels, a permanent magnet, motor driven board, controller, and a battery. The magnet keeps it inside of the sphere when the wheels spin, thus launching the sphere forward or backward. Read more for two videos and additional information.
By simply driving the wheels independently, the sphere begins turning. Each one has a ferromagnetic shell as well as an internal permanent magnet, making it easy for them to swarm together. To accomplish this, the permanent magnet on the bottom just needs to be in contact with another, thus creating a magnetic field in the spheres of both robots. The next step in this project is making the batteries easier to recharge and possibly giving it autonomous capabilities.
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