FreeBOT Modular Robot
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.

LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101 Fun Robot Building Set and Educational Coding Kit for Kids, Award-Winning STEM Learning Toy (847 Pieces)
  • Who doesn't love robots? Introduce kids to the creative world of coding with the best educational STEM toys to foster their curiosities. Building, learning, and programming robots has never been more fun!
  • Includes 847 LEGO pieces that kids can build and rebuild into 5 cool multifunctional models. The best and most popular robotics toys for 7-12 year old boys and girls who love to tinker and learn about science. Use the latest tech like color, distance and tilt sensors.
  • Construct and code Vernie the Robot to dance, rock out on the Guitar4000, foster Frankie the Cat, interact with the Autobuilder, or explore a new discovery with the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4). The IQ-boosting activities are endless!
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  • Vernie the Robot stands over 10" (27cm) tall, Guitar4000 over 1” (5cm) high, 16” (42cm) long and 5” (15cm) wide, Frankie the Cat over 6” (17cm) tall, AutoBuilder over 10” (27cm) high, M.T.R.4 over 4” (12cm) high, 9” (23cm) long and 5” (14cm) wide.