The Cubli was developed at the ETH Zurich's Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control
, chiefly by Mohanarajah Gajamohan and Raffaello D'Andrea. The cube features three "reaction wheels" mounted on the cube's faces, each spinning at high angular velocities. Sudden braking causes the cube to jump up, and then motored torques allow it to balance at whatever angle it jumps to. Finally, the fall of the cube can also be controlled, giving it the appearance of walking. The cube measures 6 inches (15 cm) on each side, according to the Verge
Apparently other researchers have taken note of this technology, and some have plans to use it to build robots for planetary exploration.
This isn't the first awe-inspiring cube-shaped invention this year to take the Internet by storm. Back in October, MIT unveiled M-Blocks
, cubes with self-assembling powers that quickly garnered Terminator
comparisons. The researchers behind the M-Blocks intends to see them used for road and bridge repair.
Our future is looking more and more square.